In this blog, I recently shared some lessons about “Handling More” from my Uncle Bob, a long-time marathon runner (see blog of 9/29/14 below). Although I couldn’t even jog a mile in high school, Bob Carr inspired me to start running and he coached me to finish a marathon. He ran the Disney Marathon with me to make sure that I got it done. Coach Carr taught me, and lots of other fortunate people, about running and about life.
Yesterday morning, Bob Carr passed away quietly in his sleep at age 86.
As a long-distance runner for 42 years, Bob ran thousands of races, coached hundreds of runners, and he finished a hundred marathons. Coach Carr once showed me his 42 annual log books that detailed distance, weather, shoes worn, and observations from each of the approximately 12,480 runs that he completed. In each log book, on the December 31st entry Bob hand wrote his exact annual mileage. He ran about 2,400 miles per year, every year.
In his lifetime, Bob ran more than 100,000 miles. That’s four times around the Earth’s equator.
Bob served in the US Navy for 32 years, and retired as a Senior Chief. At age 40 he volunteered for battle front duty on the rivers of Vietnam. He went because America needed experienced veterans to watch over our young men. So, in 1968, to get fit for war alongside men half his age, Bob Carr began running. And, he never quit.
Uncle Bob believed in duty, work, and dedication. He knew a lot about running, and life. Here are three things that Coach told me – these are critical lessons about running and life from Coach Carr:
Coach Carr said, “Nothing new on race day.”
Running: Make sure that all your gear is broken in, fits right, and that you understand how you and your gear work together so that you are fully ready on race day.
Life Lesson: When tackling something big or important, do all the preparation and hard work required. If it’s your duty, or you are determined to finish, then do everything necessary so that you are ready, no matter how much hard work that demands.
Coach Carr said, “Run into the wind first.”
Running: By starting out straight into the wind, you get the difficult work done first. Even though this makes you tired, once you turn around the wind at your back now helps, so you know you’ll make it. Doing the hard part first ensures that you can finish what you set out to do.
Life Lesson: Tackle the hardest thing on your To Do list, or your Bucket List first. All the smaller things that you need to do, will seem easy after that.
Coach Carr said, “Run some races for someone else.”
Running: As an experienced runner, you have the ability, and the duty, to help new runners tackle their big, scary goals. Find someone that needs support, encouragement and guidance. Help them train, and then run the race with them.
Life Lesson: Once you have knowledge, resources and experience, then share them. Lead new climbers up their first big peak. Help a young person advance their career. Raise funds for those that need assistance. Coach kids. Do this not to see if you can go the distance, but to make sure that they can.
Coach Bob Carr passed away on November 9, 2014 which was World Run Day.
Run on, Uncle Bob. Run on.