Running empowers Trudy Calloway, so the 67-year-old Wichita native has vowed to never miss an opportunity to race in her hometown.
Calloway will run in her 32nd straight River Run on Saturday morning. Many years, she has doubled up and run the 10-kilometer and the 2-mile race on the same day, but this year knee surgery will limit her to the 2-mile race.
No amount of pain or discomfort could ever lead Calloway to question if she was going to be at River Run. It is a given.
“This is the one race that I cannot miss,” Calloway said. “Even if I have to walk or crawl, no matter what, I’m going to cross that finish line.”
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Running wasn’t always the answer for Calloway. She didn’t discover her passion for it until she was 35, and even then it wasn’t planned. Calloway joined an exercise class at a local gym and started jogging as part of the class.
“Except I ended up liking the jogging more than the class itself,” Calloway said. “Then it just became an addiction. Now I have to run like I have to breathe.”
Every day, Calloway rises at sunrise to go out for a morning jog. By the time most people are hopping in their cars for work, Calloway feels like she has already accomplished something great.
“It kind of makes you feel invincible in a way,” Calloway said. “I like to run in the morning to start my day because I feel like it doesn’t matter what happens after that, it feels like I’ve done something already with my day.”
When life has presented her with a form of adversity, Calloway has turned to running. Putting on her running shoes and going out for a jog has been therapeutic for her in many cases.
Calloway has picked up a secret over the last three decades of running: Whenever you’re sad, go for a run.
“Because you can’t run and cry at the same time,” she said. “And you always end up feeling better about yourself after you’re done.”
But running isn’t solely to make Calloway feel better. She has a competitive side, as well.
Calloway’s name can be found all over the Kansas record books for age-group records. In the 10-kilometer, she has a top-10 time in the 45-49, 50-54, 55-59 and 60-64 and she currently owns the second-fastest time in the 65-69 age group.
The same goes in the 2-mile race, which Calloway doesn’t even consider her specialty. Her name is in the top 10 for every age group starting at 40 and she also owns the second-fastest time in the 65-69 age group in state history.
While she may not be able to challenge for a record this year, Calloway will be back. You can count on it.
“It’s tradition now,” Calloway said. “I’m going to keep coming back and keep finishing, no matter what. Maybe when I’m dead and buried in the ground, then I’ll give up.”
Kansas Health Foundation River Run
When: 7 a.m. Saturday for 10K, 9:30 for 2-mile
Where: On Waterman Street in front of the Hyatt Hotel