Kevin Johnston doesn’t run races to win — he runs because it makes him feel good.
“I enjoy running because you meet so many people,” said the Marion, CT, Postmaster, who recently completed 169 races as a member of the Run 169 Towns Society.
The society is composed of runners who race in every town in Connecticut.
It took Johnston more than three years to complete the challenge, which consisted of 5K and 10K runs. He sometimes ran more than one race a day.
“I like to stay in shape,” said Johnston, who started running in 2003 to become healthier.
The Postmaster once weighed 370 pounds and credits his running regimen with helping him get down to 195 pounds.
“From where I was to where I am now, it’s night and day,” he said.
Completing miles-long races has helped Johnston’s endurance at work, where he sometimes registers as many as 23,000 steps a day.
“I know that if I didn’t run, I would not have the energy to do the job the way I want to do it,” he said.
Marion Retail Associate Norma Balvin-Pardo said Johnston’s dedication to his job and to his running is “amazing.”
“I ask him all the time how he does it,” she said. “He just says, ‘If I don’t do this, I’m going to be dead.’”
Being able to run for miles takes patience and the ability to know your limitations, according to Johnston.
“You’ve got to know your body [and] listen to it talk to you,” he said.