It’s difficult to say, “Once a runner, always a runner.” The sport is hard on the body. Plain and simple, and many folks are forced to find low-impact alternatives.
That’s what makes Doyle Carpenter so unique. He’s 78 years old, and he’s not just been a casual runner his entire life. He’s been doing ultramarathons — 130 to be exact.
Carpenter, who lives in Treadway, Tenn., hit the headlines in October after he won “The Endless Mile,” a 48-hour race in Alabama, in which he completed an astonishing 149 miles.
“A lot of people, they have hip, ankle, knee problems,” he told Runner’s World. “But I guess I was born lined up right.”
According to the Rogersville Review, Carpenter began running at 12 years old as a means to get to his job.
Carpenter started running when he was caddy at Lake Forest Country Club in 1951. One golfer he caddied for was Arnold Palmer, who was in college at the time.
Too young to drive, Carpenter ran to the highway to hitchhike home to be in time or dinner. He ran every day for the six years until he graduated.
Carpenter has always been active even when not pounding the pavement. Following his time in the Army, he worked as a bricklayer. Once he retired, he bought a farm and raised cattle.
One of his most memorable races is one from 1988, when he set a world record for running 221 miles in 48 hours.
Carpenter churns out about 11 miles per day, five days a week when he’s in training.
His son, who is in the National guard, can’t believe what his father does. Then again, Carpenter can’t believe his son’s CrossFit workouts.
To each his own, in the gym or on the road.