I had the honor of talking with Richard Shaw on Wednesday morning.

Richard works for the State Department and is currently stationed in Belgium.

While on vacation last April, he entered Bell County’s inaugural Army Marathon and took first place, running the 26.2 miles in 2:51.22.

Richard won’t be able to defend his title on March 2 when the second Army Marathon will take place.

Who will win this year’s marathon?

It won’t be me. Like I told Richard, I get tired driving a car 26.2 miles—never mind jogging that distance.

Shaw is 55 and started jogging when he was 40.

“Longevity doesn’t exist in my family,” he said. “At age 40, I was looking at other 40 year olds, saw what was happening to them and decided I’d start running.”

And he’s kept on running and running.

He, first, is a man of discipline. He served in the Air Force from 1977 through 1981.

He also is a competitive individual.

“I was actually mad at myself after I finished the Army Marathon last year,” he said. “Even though I finished first, I was mad that I didn’t break 2:48. That was the goal I’d set for myself. Although, to be truthful, your mind is never really working all that well just after you finish a marathon. The day after is when I can sit back a bit, reflect, and be satisfied with what I’ve done.”

Richard, who calls Chappell Hill, Texas, home, did want to send a message back to those of us who live in Central Texas and care about the Army Marathon and the veterans’ charities it supports.

“The embassies that I work at are protected by our military,” he said. “I’ve developed a lot of respect for the military, the conduct of the soldiers. I saw that in this Army Marathon race, with the class the participating soldiers displayed. I realize that the military is training professionals. Our military does an excellent job at representing the United States.”

Richard Shaw was featured in Allan Mandell's Sunday column "On Sports" in the Killeen Daily Herald.

Contact Allan Mandell at amandell@kdhnews.com or 254-501-7566​ and read his blog on KDHPressbox.com

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