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February 2012-Tom Katus

Member Spotlight: Tom Katus is a longtime member and supporter of the Black Hills Runners Club. Tom, for many years, was the Editor of our newsletter and ‘high-lighted’ many members during his tenure. Tom is very active in the Black Hills community, including both local and state politics also serving in the SD Senate. Tom always brings International flavor to his Hosted Fun Runs and includes everyone annually for the 4th of July fireworks from his home’s great view of downtown. Tom is an official “hugger’ at the Leading Ladies Marathon and had a perfect score on his military machine gun target test.

Hometown: Rapid City, but born and raised in McIntosh, SD on the Standing Rock Sioux Indian Reservation

Runner since: High School track runner in ¼, ½, and 1 mile. We did not have cross-country in those Paleolithic days. I began adult running in 1976 at age 36, with a midnight run in the Anaconda Pit in Butte, Montana, while serving as an advanceman for Vice Presidential Candidate Walter Mondale.

Real job: President and CEO of TK Associates International, a small business consulting firm.

Favorite race: Mickleson Trail/Deadwood ½ Marathon.

Rave run: Big Horns 30 K, as a walk-on together with Mark Warren.

Shoe of choice: Saucony

Snacks on the run: Anything provided by the race is fine.

Proudest running moment: Finishing the Big Horns 30 K, but perhaps most colorful was the completion of the 9th of 11 Black Hills Marathons I completed. I was having serious cramps in the last 5 miles, and a nationally famous 72-year-old runner, whose name escapes me, ran and chattered with me the final five miles. He told me if I ran pigeon toed, it would relieve the pain. This seemed to work, but it was his continuous prattle that probably took my mind off of any pain.

He stated, “Two days ago, I was at home in Ohio, and jumped in my pickup with my best friend, the dawg. As soon as this race is over, the dawg and I will immediately return to Ohio where I will jump the bones of a elder widow.” By the time we reached the finish line, I still had gas in my tank, but slowed down so we could cross the line together. The next day’s Rapid City Journal’s photo on the front page identified him and said he finished the race with an unidentified local runner.

Upcoming plans: To get back in shape after blowing my knee in the Mickleson/Deadwood ½ Marathon three years ago. Uflexa, WD40, for old runners over the hill, may enable me to again run with the bad knee.

Favorite quote: “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood.”—Theodore Roosevelt

Mentor: All members of the BHRC have helped me when asked and needed. While they are not mentors per se, Mark and Lesley Warren have been particularly inspirational with their promotion of BHRC, and especially trail running.

Biggest supporter: Myself; Tom Katus, and Mark and Lesley

Notes/ Suggestions for Black Hills Runners Club: The Club has experienced a wonderful transition and growth thanks to the leadership of Lesley and all the other women. We should have turned it over to them a long time ago. Aside from continuing to try to engage young runners, I cannot think of anything I would suggest changing. If it if not broken, don’t try to fix it.