Can you imagine someone running after having a heart bypass? How about a double or triple bypass? Well, we have a neighbor here in Woodbridge who started running after having a six-way heart bypass! That's right and not just running but racing on a regular basis. Charles "Chuck" Kaywood had his heart surgery July 2, 2001.

After a long period of recuperation, Chuck started walking on the treadmill at the JCC. He saw some of his friends running so he decided to try it. One day, he went to the Fitzgerald Trail and started to run. Chuck told me he ran about 100 yards before he had to stop. He was out of breath, muscles hurting and had a little voice inside his head that whispered, "Chuck, you must be crazy."

Chuck obviously didn't listen to that voice because he kept running - a little more each time. He ran his first road race - the Shamrock and Roll 5k, 18 months ago in 29:30. Since that first race, Chuck has trained consistently 20-25 miles per week and ran his best 5k time ever Dec. 12, 2004 at the Christopher Martin's 5k - finishing in 25:42. I am most impressed with Chuck's decision to run a marathon this fall. Chuck diligently followed a marathon training program, running up to 42 miles each week. He ran the Mystic Places marathon in October, finishing in five hours, 27 minutes. I'll bet two years ago if someone told Chuck that he was destined to run a marathon he would have called them nuts!

Now Chuck is definitely hooked on running. While he has never been athletically inclined, Chuck has lost 50 pounds since starting to run and has several racing goals for the coming years. Chuck told me that he will run under 24 minutes for a 5k race this year and will train for another fall marathon - hopefully New York if he is accepted, and his goal is under 4:50. At 51 years old, Chuck Kaywood is in the best shape in his life and intends to keep running for as long as he can.

See you on the roads.