Boston Marathon Spotlight Athlete
David Hinkle runs marathons faster at 55 than he did at 25. At the same time, he holds a full-time job as a principal in a consulting firm for commercial real estate that has him traveling to other cities, states or countries about 4 days out of the week.
“I’m an interesting guy to follow on Strava. I often find myself doing speedwork in the parking lot of a shopping center.”
Putting in 50 – 65 hours a week, David manages to get it done. On top of this, he is training for a 70.3 Ironman with a goal of sub-5 hours. If you think all this is impressive, that’s because it is. However, David’s satisfaction is derived from a deeper place than simply setting a PR.
“I love to show up at the track and compete against these great athletes, but I love seeing people who have the courage to come out, and it’s their first 5k, and they probably didn’t grow up an athlete. They may not look like a runner, but they have the courage to complete the event.”
A Knoxville resident since 1988, he took up running at age 23 as a way to live a healthier lifestyle which was influenced by the tragic loss of his father from heart complications.
“My primary motivation for running has always been health and well-being first. My Dad had major heart issues from age 29 on and passed away at 51. So that was always my driving force.”
After moving to Knoxville, David ran his first 10k, which led to three marathons (Marine Corps Marathon, Chicago Marathon and the New York Marathon). As his business career picked up he continued running, but put racing on the backburner and played basketball competitively throughout his 30’s into his 40’s. It wasn’t until he was about 49 years old that he jumped back into races.
He discovered Knoxville Endurance after racing in the Strawberry Plains Half Marathon and decided to invest in training. Shortly after he qualified for the Boston Marathon at Carmel, Indiana last year running a 3:28, setting his marathon PR. His previous record was 3:32 set in Chicago when he was 25 years old. David is happy with his time but also inspired by the surrounding Knoxville Community in his age range.
“In Straw Plains, I ran a 1:33 as a 55-year-old and still finished second in my age group. [Ryan Watzke] ran a 1:29 and Brent [Beuche] won grandmaster’s with a 1:22. That’s spectacular.”
Aside from maintaining his health, what keeps David coming back 30 years later?
“To me what I love about endurance sports is there’s no cutting corners. So, when I show up to race there’s no excuses. I used to race sports cars, and guys would cheat, or they would do this, or they would do that. When we show up to run a race, you’re bringing the investment you’ve made in your fitness and your mental strength. That’s it. There’s no cutting corners.”