Steve Charles—Professor John Zimmerman stopped by my office Friday and asked me if I knew how many Wabash faculty and staff members were running in Indy’s 500 festival Mini-Marathon over the weekend.

“I don’t know,” I said. “Maybe one, two?”

Try 12. Add two more if you count spouses and friends. And that’s just my best guess after looking over the race results page.

I like to think I have some idea about most of our professors’ avocations, but this one really took me by surprise. Twelve of our faculty and staff colleagues spent Saturday running 13.1 miles with 30,000 people in the streets of Indianapolis.

And two more—Professors Dave Timmerman and Greg Redding (left)—missed the Mini because they were competing in the Flying Pig (definitely the best name for marathon) a full marathon run through the streets of Cincinnati. That event’s results page shows the two of them finished together, having run 26 miles in 3:34:17!

Professor of Art Doug Calisch was our top finisher in Indy, running the 13 miles in 1:46:12, or a pace of about eight minutes per mile. It was the sculptor/photographer’s best time since his first mini in 1998. The older he gets, the faster he gets!

Library Assistant Bill Helling was just six minutes behind Doug, and computer science professor Dave Maharry, rhetoric professor Todd McDorman, and psychology prof Bobby Horton finished about three minutes later.

Dave Maharry tells me that running your brains out like this was “a fun day—very much like a huge circus.”

Center of Inquiry Administrative Assistant Christina Gilbert and Assistant Director of Admissions Marc Welch were four seconds apart at 1:57;33 and 1:57:37. College physician Scott Douglas and Director of Financial Aid Clint Gasaway (taking it easy this year, having not trained for the race) came in next, followed by chemistry professor Ann Taylor and our computer doc, Rod Helderman. This was Rod’s first mini-marathon, and he admits he was feeling pretty tired at the end. But he was still running when he crossed the finish line.

Anita Klein, wife of Director of Admissions Steve Klein, and Kitty Haffner, Wabash friend and supporter and wife of Herm Haffner ’77, also finished the 13 mile course in a little over 3 hours.

The average time for the race was 2:30, so most of our runners were easily in the top half of the field. But having covered that race for magazines a couple of years and watching the effort it takes, I’m impressed with anyone who finishes that thing.

And surprised at how many strong faculty and staff runners we have on campus.

And embarrassed that I’m still sitting on my butt typing this on this beautiful day, when I ought to be out getting some exercise.

Time to go home and wipe the dust off my bike.

The image of a flying pig comes to mind.


Professors Doug Calisch, Dave Maharry, Bobby Horton, and Todd McDorman got together for this photo after the race.