Marion Twp. man transforms weight, life through running
The Livingston Community News
When Steve Campbell started running five years ago, the Marion Township resident weighed 250 pounds and was a smoker.
Since then, Campbell has transformed his body and his lifestyle. He’s down to 185 pounds and training for his second 50-mile ultra-marathon, the North Country Trail 50 in Manistee.
Campbell, 43, a design engineer for an auto supplier in Novi, will use the new Silver Lake 50-50 on Saturday, Aug. 23, at the Pinckney Recreation Area to gear up for the Manistee race on Saturday, Sept. 20.
The length of ultra-marathons scares a lot of runners off, but at the same time, their popularity is growing. Campbell will run the 50-kilometer race at Silver Lake, which equates to roughly 31 miles.
Campbell says he likes to take his time running because he’s not a fast runner.
“I think those who race 10Ks are 5Ks are amazing,” Campbell says. “I have no fun running that hard.”
At last year’s North Country Trail 50, Campbell ran a career-long 35 miles before his legs “locked up.”
“When you run 30 miles, you wonder if you can do 35. I would eventually like to do a 100-miler, but I have to get past the 50-miler first,” he says. “You just want to see how far you can go.”
Josh Abel, the Tortoise and Hare Running and Fitness Center events director running the Silver Lake 50-50, said the event could attract anywhere from 50 to 100 runners.
“With a race of this length, the first couple of years, it is a little smaller,” Abel said. “It doesn’t have the mass appeal of a 5K or 10K.”
The course will be set in four 12-mile loops on the Potawatomi Trail. Abel said it won’t require anything “too crazy” like the swamp crawl and river crossings that are the mainstays of the popular Dances with Dirt, a 100-kilometer relay and 50-mile race set for Sept. 6 in Hell. To sign up, contact Abel at 734-623-9640 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Abel said there are only a handful of ultras in the Midwest, including the one in Manistee, another in Indiana and several in Ohio.
“There is a need for these longer races,” he said. “They are not easy to find. You need a nice course with a lot of volunteers. The ultra running is becoming more popular.”
Campbell says he enjoys running with other ultra-marathoners.
“It is a really nice community,” he says. “Everybody helps everybody out. You are not competing against each other. You are just going against the terrain.”