The 600 runners who toed the starting line at Broad and High streets yesterday had their individual reasons for entering the 30th annual Columbus 10K. Only a dozen or so elite men and women, however, harbored any grand illusions of actually winning and landing a spot in the U.S. national championships in Boston.
Runners are keenly aware of their limits and compete to test themselves. Some race against their watches, some against Father Time and others against physical ailments.
Although it took 1 hour, 2 minutes, 11 seconds for 60-year-old Frank Eubanks to finish the 6.2-mile event, he drew a rousing ovation. Known only as “The Wheezer” by many in the local running fraternity, the retired Columbus man sounds like an approaching train from 100 yards away.
Eubanks, who suffers from small lung capacity, debunked the legend that he has only one lung.
“That’s about what it amounts to, though,” he said. “My lungs just don’t hold much air, and I breathe more rapidly than everyone else.”
Eubanks doesn’t let his lung capacity impede him.
“I used to run 6 minutes per mile, but now I just do it to say I can still do it,” said Eubanks, who has run 35 marathons and all but one Columbus 10K since 1984.