This raises questions, starting with the big one: Why?
“I started running when I turned 40 years old,” Dennis explained. “I weighed 175 pounds and I saw all the 40-somethings having heart attacks.” Given that 175 doesn’t seem like a hefty number, it raised another question, one you wouldn’t normally ask someone you’d just met: his weight now. “I’m at 134 — that’s my marathon weight,” he answered. And, as for seeing those 40-somethings dropping over, Dennis had a good vantage point for observing health: he spent most of his career, over 40 years, as a pharmacist.
Dennis recalled for us his best running days, saying, “The ‘runner’s high’ is real, like nothing on Earth. When I was in my fifties, I would run hills and felt like I could go on and on, just keep going forever.” In those days, he was living fulltime in South Dakota and recalled how the weather rarely kept him inside: “I’d run all winter. There would be four feet of snow – didn’t matter — I’d put on a mask and go, as long as it wasn’t much below zero.” It wasn’t till in his sixties that Dennis started doing part of his training on a treadmill, and today that’s mostly where he gets in his training.
Nevertheless, he keeps up a schedule of road races. They not only give him trips to look forward to, but people to look forward to visiting with and/or running with. His son, David, will accompany him on the trip to the Tokyo Marathon and, in the photo below, that’s Dennis with daughter Lynette Simpson, running together in the local Rock & Roll Marathon. (Lynette and her husband, Ed, also live at The Resort, and yes, Ed, too joins Dennis on runs.)