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R-MWC Physics Professor Finishes Marathon

Peter Sheldon already signed up for next year's Disney Marathon

1/27/2006 2:11:09 PM


LYNCHBURG – Running is nothing new for Peter Sheldon. In high school, college and for years after college, he was an avid runner, competing in frequent road races and marathons.

But in the mid 90s, the time he spent running got overtaken by teaching. Last May, he decided to give it another go.

“I’m never going to be as good as I was when I was 27,” said the physics professor. “But I’m trying.”

At 38 years of age, and after just slightly more than 6 months of training, he signed up for the Disney Marathon.

“I don’t run because I like to look at the scenery,” Sheldon said. “I run to compete, whether it’s against myself or other people.”

During winter break in Disney, he ran the marathon with the flu. And still managed to place 71st out of 15,000 runners. His time was 3:03.

“I wanted to do better,” he said. “And I’ve already signed up for next year.”

While Sheldon was training, he decided to create a running club, hoping to share his love of the sport with R-MWC students. The club quickly grew, and Sheldon soon found the students were motivating him as much as he was pushing them.

“The students who run clearly love running,” he said.

He’s hoping to make the club a varsity sport in a few years. Already, they are competing in road races as an unofficial team.

“It’s great to see them improve at each race,” he said.

Sheldon is continuing his daily runs with students, and is hoping his hard work will pay off next year at Disney.

“It’s all or nothing with me,” he said. “I need to run every day, and I need to compete. I’ve got a goal and something to train for now. And I plan on taking 15 minutes off my marathon time.”

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CONTACT: Brenda Edson, Director of College Relations