J.D. Germany took part in the Germantown Half-Marathon on Sunday, and the runner was content to finish the race on a frigid day.
A retired construction worker, Germany has been running for 11 years and enjoys competing in all the area races. He does say that Sunday’s half-marathon (131/10 miles) will be his last one of the long distance runs.
“I’m too old to be running in the half-marathons,” said Germany, laughing. “I was hurting all over before I got to the finish line. I’m not going to put myself through running that long distance anymore.”
Germany is proud of the over 100 medals he has won over his 11 years of running. He has finished first in his age group in past races for St. Jude and at Germantown.
A family man, Germany was proud to have three of his four children at Sunday’s race while one daughter stayed home with his wife, Mary Frances. His son Randy and daughter-in-law Tammy ran along side Germany for moral support. His other children are Sheila Holt, Debbie Qualls and Pam Faulk.
His next run will be in Waynesboro, Tennessee, on March 25 with another race in Adamsville, Tennessee, on April 1.
Germany always enjoys running in the Corinth Coca-Cola Classic 10K in May. He said Corinth race founder Kenneth Williams is his hero.
Germany jokingly said he had sent word to Williams to begin an 80-and-up division for this year’s 10K race in Corinth.
“I can’t just can’t compete with some of those young 75-year-old bucks running against me,” said Germany. “Kenneth is a fine man who is a good friend to me. I admire his ability to run.”
Germany also likes to ride a bike, and he believes that Shiloh National Military Park is the best place to train in the area. He lives just over a mile from the national park.
“The park in Shiloh is the best place to walk, run or ride a bicycle around here,” said Germany.
He had to retire in 2002 following open heart surgery, and he began walking as part of his rehab from the surgery. The running dynamo has undergone three knee surgeries, back surgery and gallbladder removal since 2002.
“I’ve had just about all the operations you can have done, but it has not stopped me from running, walking or riding my bike,” Germany said proudly.
Germany competes against his previous times every time he puts on his running shoes.
“If I am in a run and can’t get to the finish line, then I am retiring that day,” said Germany in what sounded like a self-challenge. “When I am in a run, I want to finish and I really want to finish in the top three to earn some money.”
Germany is still frustrated over finishing fourth in some races and not getting any of the cash prizes.
When a man is born prior to the start of World War II who can still finish a 131/10-mile race, he is considered a winner whether he brings home a medal or cash.
His loving family have thought of him as a winner long before he began his career as a runner.