Scheeter runs into a mid-life crisis

Thursday, April 10, 2003

John Scheeter calls it a mid-life crisis. His friends call it insane. It's a sudden urge to run marathons.

"We joke about it," he said. "Some people go out and buy an expensive car; I run marathons. I wanted something I would remember."

So the road to memory lane started only ten months ago for Scheeter, the 33-year old from Oran. In that short time, he has conquered the St. Louis Marathon and has plans to run Chicago in the fall and ultimately qualify for Boston.

"I have to shave about thirty minutes off my time, but it is something that I am confident I can do," Scheeter said.

Before his "crisis," Scheeter hadn't laced up his running shoes in years, but for some reason the sensation suddenly came to him.

"I can't really tell you, I used to like running but that was years ago," he said. "I guess I wanted to get in shape. A marathon was never something that I had really thought about."

Scheeter ran the St. Louis Marathon in 3 hours and 40 minutes and was the area's top finisher.

"The feeling was great. It was a lot more than I expected," he said. "I thought that maybe the pain would make me rethink my next one, but it wasn't like that. I left with determination to do another one. When you cross that finish line, the feeling is overwhelming."

Determination, John said, is what got him through the last 6 miles. A common saying about marathons is that they consist of two halves. The first half is the first twenty miles and the second half is the last 6.2.

"Those words could have been taken right out of my mouth," he said, laughing. "Twenty mile mark is when it starts getting really tough, from there it was determination."

Scheeter hopes to use that determination to carry him through future marathons and maybe, one day, Scheeter will run a marathon in all 50 states.

"My wife loves to travel," he said. "But we will have to wait and see how I feel after a few more marathons before we commit to that."

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