Boston Marathon Spotlight Athlete
Mere words cannot describe the positivity that emanates from Pat Pickard when you meet him. He is as driven as he is generous. In many ways, he is a hero. It’s a difficult task to summarize his accomplishments and do them justice.
A former Merchant Marine Engineer of over 30 years, Pat spent months at a time overseas working on cargo ships. By the time he reached his mid 40’s, he had begun to develop issues with his cholesterol. Starting at age 60, he initially got into running as a way to get in shape for skiing but decided to train a little more specifically for 5k’s and the marathon distance. After 3 years of running his health had done a 180.
“I had diagnosed high blood pressure and high cholesterol. I was put on medications to control them. Now I’m off of them.”
His first marathon was finished in about 4:25 at age 63. Since then he has shaved off 30 minutes from his initial time. He credits this leap in his training to cleaning up his diet and adding an extra day onto his running schedule. It’s hard to argue with the results. Last year in March, he crossed the finish line in Carmel, Indiana at 3:54:59, winning his age group and effectively cementing his entry into the 2019 Boston Marathon.
“I woke up that morning feeling better than I had in 20 years.”
While already impressive, what really sets Pat apart from almost anyone you meet is his refusal to accept anything less than his very best. When questioned about what gets him out the door every day he had a very simple answer:
“You. Everybody else I run with. Everybody I see. People show up and they have jobs. People who get up at 5 am in the morning and run like we all do. It’s a special drive. It’s something in a person that inspires me to want to be around people like that.”
Pat carries this drive over into his passion for helping other people, volunteering his time as a guide running for the visually impaired and raising several thousands of dollars to help a child battling cancer.
“I just found it as a way to pay it forward.”
When asked what his plans are for the future, Pat replied:
“I want to just keep running and run for the pure joy of running. Hopefully, I’ll go to Boston and requalify. I’m running better than I ever have. It’s like every year I’m running faster. I don’t understand it, but I don’t question it because it’s God’s plan. I’ll just go out there and be honest about it, and to know that when you cross the finish line you gave 100%.”