Runner Spotlight: Ted Cochrane

When did you begin running and why?

In 1974, my wife and I thought we needed to be in better shape generally. She had a friend in college who ran, which was pretty unusual at the time. But we tried it and liked it.

How did you find out about DCRRC and when did you join?

I joined in April, 1975. We lived in Greenbelt for awhile, and running friends were members and used to take us to DCRRC races, especially the two mile Fun Runs. There weren’t many other racing outlets then, and it was fun to run with, and against, others.

What are you training for right now?

Nothing in particular, just trying to get my mileage up for the Fall.

What is the toughest run or race you’ve ever participated in?
Probably the New York Marathon in 2001. Not only is the course fairly hard, but I had some minor injuries that Fall and hadn’t put in a lot of miles. I was going to defer the race until the next year. Then 9/11 happened, and I decided I was going to go if the race wasn’t canceled. It wasn’t, and I did. But being under-trained for a marathon made for a long day. Incredibly memorable, but long.

What’s your favorite part about being a DCRRC member?

After so many years, I like going to certain races, like the Bread Run, that have been going on for so long. Also, I think the community outreach of the Club, things like the training program and putting on our larger races, has become an important part of running in the area.

What’s your favorite route in the area?

I run on the WO&D trail out in Vienna almost everyday and enjoy the diversity – hilly or flat, paved or trail, there’s always a way to have an interesting run.

What’s the most important lesson running has taught you?

Relying on oneself to reach a goal. Running isn’t a team situation – you have to do it yourself. So, no matter how fast or slow you are, you have to get out there and run.

What race day traditions do you have?

Getting everything ready the night before and check it twice. Having said that, I’ve still forgotten something at times.

What’s your proudest running moment?
Well, probably finishing the 1995 Last Train To Boston marathon in Aberdeen, MD. I was trying to qualify for the 100th Boston. I had trained a lot all Fall, and this was the last race before the entry deadline. It was a four loop course, and starting the last loop, I could see that I wasn’t going to make my time. I was really disappointed, and actually walked a little while thinking about stopping. But I kept going and finished. Luckily, I was one of the last people to get an entry in the special lottery they had that year. So, I guess the lesson is “don’t stop because you never know”.

What’s your life like outside of running?

I’m retired from a computer software research and development background. I do a lot of open water kayaking, fishing, and hiking. And yard work …

What is one thing you wouldn’t run without?

My orthotics. I had knee problems over thirty years ago and getting orthotics totally stopped that. Hundreds of pairs of shoes and thousands of miles later, I still use a pair of orthotics on every run.