It’s never too late to start running.
Kodiak’s Howard Valley is proof of that.
Valley didn’t run his first mile before he was 60; it’s not like he didn’t try sooner, because he did.
“I tried before, but I couldn’t make it,” Valley said. “I used to live across from a track in Anchorage in my 20s and I tried a couple of times to make a run at four laps.”
Four laps is now just a warmup for Valley. The 64-year-old is competing in the Boston Marathon on Monday. For those wondering, that is equal to 104 times around a track.
Valley started running four years ago when he decided he wanted to see just how good of shape he could get in. Within the first year, he lost 27 pounds and lowered his cholesterol.
“My health has been good,” Valley said. “I have only had one injury, and that was from training too much last spring. I pulled a muscle.”
Valley, a 1966 Kodiak High School graduate, has completed two marathons. He won the 2010 KMXT-FM Run the Rock marathon, and then in 2012 qualified for the Boston Marathon with his 3-hour, 33-minute, 38-second finish in the Big Wildlife Run in Anchorage. He eclipsed the qualifying mark for the 60-64-year-old division by 22 minutes.
“That was better than I expected in that race,” Valley said.
When he toes the line Monday morning, it will be Valley’s first race outside Alaska. He begins his 26.2-mile tour from Hopkinton, Mass. to Boston at 6:20 a.m. Alaska Standard Time.
“I think I will have more energy going on,” Valley said. “I’m just worried about there being so many people — it is like trying to run through a mall full of people.”
The largest race Valley has been only had 320 people. The Boston Marathon will have 27,000 runners.
Valley has been training for the past 15 weeks to reach his goal of finishing under 3:30. His only concern is the weather. It was 85 degrees at last year’s Boston Marathon — a far cry from Kodiak’s chilling temperatures. This year’s forecast is partly sunny, with a high near 58 degrees.
“That could ruin my 3:30,” he said. “I am hoping it is cold this year, because most of my running has been in the 30s.”
Contact Mirror writer Derek Clarkston at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kodiak resident Howard Valley is running the Boston Marathon on Monday. Valley is soliciting donations for the Kodiak High School cross country team. People can donate per mile. Donations can be made directly to Kodiak High School with “cross country” written on the memo line.