Karl Schmidt is no stranger to running.
"It's been forty years," says Schmidt. "It's almost a lifetime, you know."
A Grand Rapids native, Schmidt has run every River Bank Run 25k since the race began in 1978.
"There's not a whole lot of people that can claim that," says Schmidt.
In fact, only ten other people can claim that. Schmidt will be celebrating his 40th race in the River Bank Run on Saturday, May 13th.
The most impressive part of Karl's story is that his first 25k race was his first running race ever.
"I had such an easy time in that first race. I didn't put a whole lot of training into it. I ran the whole race, felt good," says Schmidt.
Schmidt continued running after that first race in hopes of improving his race times. Eventually his goals focused on maintaining health and a perfect River Bank Run track record.
While the race has changed over the years, one part hasn't.
"The finish line is my favorite part," laughs Schmidt.
Will this be Schmidt's last run?
"Whatever comes, you know. I'm healthy, I don't have any physical problems and that kind of stuff so it'd be fun to be up there at 50 years or so but I'm not going to make any predictions. Just celebrate the 40th," says Schmidt.
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