Bob and Marjorie Lindsey have been running together for 28 years, and at the age of 68 and 71, respectively, they see no reason to stop now. The Fresno couple, has decided to add Saturday's Smokey Bear Run to their long running résumé.
Marjorie and Bob have competed in a combined 206 marathons including the Boston Marathon, Marine Marathon and Las Vegas Marathon.
Marjorie won the Valley Runner of the Year series in the Masters and Seniors divisions, for 15 years straight and at age 45 ran a 2:54.0 marathon qualifying her as No. 9 in the Master Women World Class rating for the Boston Marathon.
Marjorie says she still enjoys running and thinks people should run to maintain good health.
"We run to stay fit, healthy, and feeling good," she said. "Running is great for mental as well as physical well being."
According to the couple, running is one the most important things people can do for their heart and health.
According to Bob, both he and Marjorie held records in the Nike OTC half-marathon (she ran a 1:23.0 and he ran a 1:11.0) at Nike OTC in San Francisco.
Bob and Marjorie completely agree, running has kept them active for as many years as they can remember.
"We believe in an hour a day of aerobic exercise," Bob said.
As age and injuries become a factor the couple has decided to run shorter distance events and will run the 2-mile run Saturday instead of the 10K they have ran since 1989.
"I still love running but I have a lot more injuries that I have to deal with ... Bob and I use to run 80 to 100 miles a week," Marjorie said.
The Lindsey's have a second home at Bass Lake where they spend time relaxing and running, so they find themselves drawn to the Smokey Bear Run every year.
"I love Bass Lake so running in the Smokey Bear is always wonderful," Marjorie said.
Another couple who will be attending the annual Smokey Bear run are Carl and Gail Campbell who are coming back for the fourth consecutive year, and are eager to get out with their grandchild and enjoy the outdoors.
"We've tried to make it a family thing and my grandson will be joining us this year ... it's a fun coarse for us, the ups and downs in those hills, and it gives us an excuse to get us out of the city," Carl said.
The 26th annual Smokey Bear Run/Walk will be held Saturday, Sept. 28 at Recreation Point, Bass Lake.
Race director Ken Takeuchi said he feels as positive as ever about the race and is confident those who participate will enjoy a beautiful day filled with fitness and entertainment.
"It's going to be as good as ever ... I'm glad the smoke in the area has cleared up," Takeuchi said. "The rain came through last weekend and cleared the air. It's going to be an excellent day."
Takeuchi is one of the Central Valley's most prominent race directors organizing more than 1,000 race events in his life, including walking, hiking, triathlons and biking events.
This years race will be clocked using new chip technology provided by Talley Chip Timing Incorporated of Fresno. A micro-chip will be attached to each runners race bib that will start and stop as the races begin and end the race, providing faster and more accurate timing.
The event will include activities to fit all types of family fitness levels including a two mile run/walk, a 10K run and children's races.
The 10K race is part of the Central Valley Runner of the Year series.
The run/walks start and finish at Recreation Point, at the west end of the lake. For safety, Road 222 will be closed at 7:30 a.m. and will be re-opened after the completion of the race at 9:40 a.m.
Races start at 7:45 a.m. with check-in and pre-registration taking place from 6:45 - 7:45 a.m. at Recreation Point. Participants will receive packets, T-shirts and race bibs. Participants are encouraged to show up early to allow sufficient time for parking and packet pick up.
The race committee pulls together about 50 volunteers to help with pre-race details, registration, race packet distribution and race day water stations, along with assistance from the Madera County Sheriff's Department.
Takeuchi credits the success of the event to the great volunteers who work long hours on the details of the run/walk.
"We have a great committee and they know what they are doing they run a smooth race," Takeuchi said.
The pre-registration costs are $25 for adults and $7 for children with costs rising to $30 and $10 the day of the race.
Proceeds from the race will go to benefit Cal Fire, USFS Fire Prevention Programs, Madera County Search and Rescue, Madera County Sheriff Explorer's Post 104, and the Yosemite High School's cross country teams.
Co-directors are Madera County Sheriff John Anderson and Eva Busto, a member of Mountain Area Runners.
Details: (559) 683-1770, smokeybearrun.com.