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Knicely Done: Marathon Man

Published: Sep. 30, 2021 at 10:36 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Keith Baumert has covered a lot of miles during his 40 years of running marathons.

“My first was in 1981, the Lincoln Marathon and after that, I started running one or two a year,” he said in an interview with 6 News.

Several days ago Baumert was back at the starting line in Omaha with a special purpose. The Heartland Marathon along the riverfront would be his 100th Marathon.

“I always say I hope to finish standing up and feeling good,” he joked before the race. “But about a ten-minute pace probably four hours and 20 minutes is my plan.”

Back in his younger day, Baumert was a contender finishing in the top ten on several occasions. Past experience dictated a reasoned approach for the veteran runner as he started his 100th marathon.

“If you hit the halfway point and you’re running good and smooth you better slow down because that last half is really twice as hard as the first half.”

Baumert helps coach the track team at Omaha Skutt High School and fellow coach Nate Ruffino ran alongside in this memorable race just to help Baumert maintain his game plan.

And there were more familiar faces along the 26.2-mile route. Baumert’s wife Pam lined up with their daughter, son-in-law, and three grandchildren whistling and shouting encouraging words to “Papa.”

“He’s like iron,” said his wife Pam. “He’s just like the energizer bunny he just keeps going and going.”

The quest for number 100 went perfectly according to plan. He averaged ten-minute miles and finished in just under four hours 20 minutes. That incidentally was the best time in his 60-69 age group.

“It worked out well,” he said still trying to catch his breath in the recovery area. “I didn’t have to stop and the last mile was my fastest, so I’ll take that any day.”

The license plate on Baumert’s car reads “Run Papa.” Chances are he’ll do just that in the future but with some restraint.

“I might do a few more but not a lot more,” he said. “My wife has asked me not to do so many. Right now I want to go home and take a nap!”

Knicely Done!

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