The Zen Track Athlete
Interview with Jim Schroeder by Claire Nana
USA, Age: 67, Residence: Idialantic Beach, Florida
A Vietnam Veteran, electrical engineer, and now a research professor, Jim Schroeder’s running career spans nearly five decades, and boasts an impressive 115 marathon finishes, as well as nine career 100 mile finishes.
Inspired by the concept of Multi-Day Races, Jim sees running as an opportunity to be outside, enjoy nature, and perhaps a little “Zen” as evidenced in his book, Zen Track Rambling, which is now available through Amazon. According to this runner who no longer considers preparing for a race “training” but rather time spent outside, “I run for life, for my internal peace that the long runs bring to me.”
Jim’s second book Running for My Life, which is now partially complete, speaks further about Jim’s running philosophy, and will soon be available on Amazon.
Like many other athletes, Jim started running as a sprinter, then in the early 1970s while on the West Coast he started recreational running. His first experiments with ultrarunning took place in Australia after suffering from a serious injury. He was told to stop racing and transition to “Long Slow Distance.” The neurosurgeon’s advice lead him to ultrarunning. After his move back to Florida, he started training with Matt Mahoney, George Maxwell and participating in the Wickham Park ultrarunning events.
Soon afterwards, Jim raced the Ancient Oaks 100 miles. He finished in 26:25:40. After his first 100 miles success, Jim finished another 8 races of 100 miles and decided it was time to attempt a 6 day race.
In participating to Icarus Florida UltraFest, Jim has a second mission. The inspirational story of a fellow ultrarunner who also suffers from Addisons disease yet manages to compete well beyond the 100 mile mark opened Jim’s eyes to his own potential, and he has decided to dedicate his performance at the Icarus Florida UltraFest to his friend and pacer, Dusty Hardman.
For more information about Jim Schroeder’s books visit his Amazon Author Page.
For more information about his racing visit Jim’s Racing Calendar
For more information about Dusty Hardman or Addison’s disease visit Dusty's Blog
For more information on the upcoming 6D race visit Icarus Florida UltraFest