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What it's like to have a passion for running

July 24, 2013, 11:54 pm | This story has an Influence Score of 1039

By riazhussain

Ancient Chinese emperors wanted to achieve longevity of youth and life. They sent hundreds of herbalists in search of a herb that would help them stay young even in old age. The herbalists returned with their own success stories of having discovered the desired herb of youth. But, today the emperors and their herbal doctors are no more. However, modern research says that there is one thing that can slow down the effects of aging—running. Researchers of medicine have conducted several studies on runners. The Stanford School of medicine released their findings under the headline ‘Running slows the aging clock, Stanford researchers’ (August 11, 2008). James Fires conducted the research and believes in the findings. He himself is a runner and mountaineer. The claims are that in addition to slowing the effects of aging, running is also good for losing weight and enhancing respiratory and cardiovascular health, as well as increasing metabolism, reduce blood cholesterol, increase of bone density, strengthen the immune system, and reducing depression and drug addiction.

Most people do running exercises in order to stay healthy. But, there are others who take running as a sport. As such, it dates back to 1829 BC and it was included in the Olympic Games of 776 BC. Today, there are running contests which determinate which runner is able to run a given distance in the shortest possible time. Professional athletes and non-professional athletes vie for top positions in these competitions which include road running, cross country running, track running, marathons and ultra-marathons. Today, we are going to talk about a person who's spent almost all of his life taking part in marathons and ultra-marathons.

Alfred Benway was born in Staten Island, New York. He grew into a youth of excellent health and began his professional life by joining the United States Marine Corps where he spent three years. Then, he went into the construction industry, in which he has spent 37 years of his life. These days, he is a Construction Project Manager for New York City. He remains busy in his job all day. When he has free time, he likes to spend it with his family .

The couple have their own ways of enjoying life. They love cats. They have black and brown ones at home. They take care and love their sweet pets when they are around.

In addition, they are fond of Running, walking, reading, stamp and coin collecting. Running is a passion with Alfred. Taking part in a race makes him excited. He has been running since 1973. In other words, his interest in this particular sport dates back to the running boom of the 1970s in the USA. He says, ‘I have run all distances in races including Marathons and Ultramarathons. I ran for the Flushing Meadow Track Club in Queens, New York.'

He has participated in about 20 marathons and 10 Ultra marathons. He has run races for various distances of varying miles. He has also participated in races for the sake of saving wildlife. 

He won a large number of medals and certificates in the sport. These certificates record the time he took to run scores of miles. A glance at the certificate tells us the hard work he undertook as a runner and his passion for the sport. 

 

A person who has such vast experience should give tips for others who have passion for running. Talking about how one can be good at running, he says, ‘Running involves several tactics and training methods. It takes time before you become a good runner'. He is of the view that ‘jumping into things too fast is never a good thing. Take time to think things out’. He points out that consistency is very important in running. You have to see how your body feels when you engage in this activity. He adds, 'If you begin to feel exhaustion while running, then you should not go for longer distances. You have to pay attention to your body. You need to stay positive, bad times will pass away, never give up your goals, dreams, and positive attitude’. Giving a message to those who are interested in the sport of running, he says, ‘Build a good base and do not try to much to soon you will get injured easily’.

He has visited Canada, Hawaii, Most of the U.S. and the Caribbean. Of all these places, he likes Bermuda the most.

He developed a liking for the island after a cruise in 1989. He has been visiting Bermuda for the last 24 years. He spends two weeks there every year. It is semi-tropical and has a fantastic Railway Trail which is now a National Park that runs from one end of the island to the other. He says that ‘in winter, Bermuda has ideal weather for running—50-70 degrees. The summer months are hot and humid but suitable’.

Alfred is now 58-year-old. He has seen good and bad days of life. But his passion for running seems to be as fresh as it was in 1973 when he started running. 

His running passion has took him to several places. What he has learnt from his visits to different places in the world is that 'all people are the same. We have different beliefs and languages but we are all basically the same. Some are good, and some are bad'. He says that ‘people of the world have different cultures but have the same wants and needs as people in the West have’. Cruelty to animals and corruption around the world make him unhappy and sad. He adds, 'I wish the problems in the World could be solved much faster so the quality of life could be ideal for everyone. Corruption is the biggest evil worldwide.'

Though Mr Benway is in the construction business, his passion for running has kept him fit and healthy. Humans in the past had to have good running skills because they had to chase their prey for food. Now, we don’t have to run after the animals in the jungle to hunt them as food; but, it could be said that chasing the animals was good for our health. That was, perhaps, nature’s way of keeping us fit in the broader scheme of things. It would seem logical that when jungle life was forsaken, we designed running contests and competitions for recreation and fitness. 

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