CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - With each run, the mileage adds up. Just like it's been adding up for more than 40 years. How many miles has Tom Lehmkuhl covered?
More than 60,000 miles. That's more than two times around the Earth.
And he's not stopping anytime soon.
An activity he started for health reasons in South Florida in 1978 quickly turned into a passion. Very quickly. He'd barely laced 'em up before he was running the 1979 Orange Bowl Marathon.
"Probably about three months," Lehmkuhl says with a laugh.
And yes, he finished, in 3:56.
That was the first of his five marathons, and multiple road races, but there was also a competition brewing within. By the mid-90's, he was embarking on his own personal iron man streak.
"Three consecutive years of running three miles a day, every day, Rain, snow, didn't matter. And in Cleveland, there's great weather to run in, in the winter," he jokes.
He's also run alongside some interesting people along the way. Including, in the mid-80's, former Senator (And Vice-President) Al Gore, in the Nike Capital Challenge.
If you're wondering how Tom keeps track of everything, well, it's all in his little notebooks. 42 years of personal stats,
"I have a log book for every year," Lehmkuhl says. "It shows how many miles per day I run, where I am for the month, where I am for the year, and it also shows how many miles I have on each pair of shoes I'm wearing."
Nowadays, he says, it's no longer about the times. At least in his road races. But twenty years ago, Lehmkuhl added another passion, and this one also racks up the miles, and this activity he does clock. Auto racing.
“Both have their strategy of the race,” Lehmkuhl says, “Although I wasn’t really pushing for wins when I was foot racing. As I develop in my car racing, I am pushing for winning championships.”