Understandably Pete Buehler gets quite a reaction when he tells people that he has run more than 100,000 miles since 1975.
"I've had people say to me that their car didn't even make it to 100,000 miles, " said Buehler, a 47-year-old Toledoan.
On April 17, Buehler reached the 100,000-mile mark when he completed a three-mile run in his West Toledo neighborhood. About 40 friends and family participated in the afternoon run.
"It's not something you hear of everyday, " he said.
Buehler said that when he was a freshman at the University of Toledo his track coach, John Flaminio told him, to keep a daily running log.
"That was September 4, 1975, " Buehler said. "I've been keeping a running log every day since then and I've run just about every day since 1975."
He said he recently added up the mileage and realized he was on the precipice of surpassing an astounding 100,000 miles.
Buehler, who is a longtime member of the Toledo Roadrunners Club, said many area runners wanted to take part in the event. He predetermined the day on which he would surpass the 100,000-mile mark and even had to run 10 miles that morning to set up the celebration.
"I planned a three mile run, " he said. "We ran from my house in West Toledo through the neighborhood. "
After he crossed the finish line, Buehler handed out 100 Grand candy bars to his friends.
When people find out about his running logs and dedication, they often joke that he probably ran on the worst day of the blizzard of 1978.
"I pull [the diary] out and show them that I ran nine days during the blizzard, " he said.
He said he was living in Oregon at the time and ran up and down a deserted Starr Avenue.
"The snow was blowing sideways, but the roads were not too bad, " Buehler said. "It was like being on the moon because I was the only one out there and the landscape looked like what I think the moon would look like. "
Buehler, who has been the race director of the Toledo Classic 10 K for many years, said he has done the math and that he ran an average of 67 miles per week.
He said the key to his longevity is the lack of any serious injuries. He said he has had a few here and there, but nothing that required surgery.
Buehler said the logs started out as a notebook and it evolved into elaborate diaries.
All are handwritten and are separated into one-year logs.
"I sometimes go back and go through these logs, " he said. "I've found it to be real handy. It helps me with my training. "
He said he could tell you exactly how many miles he ran on any random date.
Between the mid-80's and mid-90's he was running about 4,000 miles per year.
"That really kind of set the table for this to happen, " he said.
Currently, Buehler said he runs about five or six days per week totaling around 30 to 40 miles every week.
He said he participated in the majority of the former Blade Classic 10Ks.
Buehler said he is not a marathon runner, but rather a mid-distance runner.
He said he has run in only three marathons in Detroit (1980), New York (1990) and Chicago (2000).
"My goal is to do another one in 2010 somewhere else, " Buehler said. "But I don't plan on another 100,000. "
Running has been a big part of Buehler's life since he ran track at Clay High School in the early 70's. He said he was "not state quality " and ran around a 4:30 mile.
The sport even played a role in his meeting his wife, Tammy.
"That's how we met. We ran into each other at Wildwood [Metropark], " Buehler said.
Tammy Buehler has been an avid runner for more than 10 years.
Buehler, who owns a door hardware business in downtown Toledo called Otto Buehler and Son, said he now runs primarily to keep his weight down and stay in shape.
Buehler said the biggest thing he has taken away from more than three decades of running is the comradeship he has built with his fellow runners.
"I always like to say that I've had a lot of races, but they come and go, " he said. "The thing I've always enjoyed is the people that I've met and continue to meet in the sport.
The people involved in running are some of the nicest around. "
Contact Mark Monroe at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 419-724-6110.
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