Running is a Way of Life
The USA Track & Field Masters Outdoor Championship was held in Lexington, Kentucky in late July, and resident Alfredo Sanchez won big. He successfully defended his title of United States National Track and Field Champion in the 400 hurdles in the 50-54 age bracket.
Running has been a consistent part of Sanchez’s life since high school in Costa Rica, where he grew up. Having turned 50-years-young this year, Sanchez has no plans to stop running … ever.
“We have so many examples of runners that are still going at it whether they are 50, like myself, or older,” Sanchez said.
Sanchez came to the United States to attend Louisiana State University on an academic scholarship. While there, Sanchez met his wife of 25 years, Lysa, and also developed into the disciplined runner he is today. Although he wasn’t part of the LSU track and field team, said Sanchez, “The coach was kind enough to let me stick around and come to practice.”
Sanchez’s dedication to running continued during his 20-year stint working for NBC Universal in Texas. Running was Sanchez’s outlet for stress, and he claims exercise is the best medication that you can have.
In 2017, Sanchez accepted a position in Denver as the news director for a local Telemundo station and he and his family moved to The Village at Castle Pines. Training in altitude has been a great advantage for him when running races in lower elevation locations, Sanchez shared with a smile.
After about a year, Sanchez said, “I was done chasing hurricanes, tornadoes and snowstorms, so I transitioned to academia.” Now, Sanchez is an assistant professor at Metro State University teaching broadcast journalism. “Being around young people keeps you young,” Sanchez said.
Teaching also gives Sanchez a little more flexibility as he balances his training schedule, six days a week. His days are filled with competing in track and field events throughout the year all over the country and the world, being involved in several professional broadcasting and journalism organizations, and being a board member for nonprofit organizations. A proud father, Sanchez also happily supports his three daughters’ activities.
Sanchez often meets up with his running buddies from his high school days in Costa Rica at competitions, and thanks to his consistency with running over the years, Sanchez said he’s now beating the times of some of the guys from LSU who were on the track and field team.
“The cool thing is that it’s not necessarily about running against other people; it’s running against yourself,” Sanchez explained. Keeping track of his running times going back several years helps him with benchmarks. “It’s just a way of life,” he concluded.
By Lisa Nicklanovich; photos courtesy of Alfredo Sanchez