HARRISBURG, Pa. – An Amish man turned heads as he whizzed by fellow runners at a recent marathon — not because of his speed but because of his unusual racing attire.
Twenty-two-year-old Leroy Stolzfus finished the 26.2-mile Harrisburg Marathon on Nov. 8 in just over three hours and five minutes, all while wearing his community's traditional clothing, Pennlive.com reported (http://bit.ly/1NHihb1).
Stolzfus said he's used to running in slacks and suspenders, and he believes he would have run closer to a three-hour marathon if he hadn't started out so fast.
"I was feeling good, but I kind of almost crashed at mile 15," Stolzfus said.
His clothes were not a factor, the Gordonville resident insists, and he did wear sneakers.
"I had no pain whatsoever," Stolzfus said. "It was more mental anguish than in my legs. You have to train yourself not to think about it. It will just slow you down. I was once told by someone that it's 20 percent training and 80 percent mental. I do believe that."
Stolzfus, who finished under a minute short of a Boston Marathon qualifying time for his age group, said he turns to running whenever he's tempted to sin.
After getting "involved with some stuff" he said shouldn't have, Stolzfus was introduced to running by his brother-in-law.
Unlike most runners, Stolzfus doesn't run every day. But he makes a point to get in at least 20 miles a week.
"It's a natural talent, but I do a lot more training than I used to," Stolzfus said.
The future is uncertain for Stolzfus, but he said he is interested in running an ultramarathon and of course attempting to qualify for the Boston Marathon.
Information from: Pennlive.com, http://www.pennlive.com