On Nov. 8, a 22-year-old Amish man named Leroy Stolzfus finished the Harrisburg Marathon in a little over three hours. What made him stand out, however, was the fact that he ran the whole thing not in regular running clothes like most people, but in traditional clothes.
22-year-old Amish man runs Harrisburg Marathon in traditional clothes, finishes in 3:05:45 (via @kellyleighton) pic.twitter.com/PrYlmFWn2z— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) November 21, 2015
Kelly Leighton of PennLive talked with Stolzfus about his mind set during the marathon, and it seems like his running troubles had nothing to do with his clothes:
"I was feeling good, but I kind of almost crashed at mile 15," he said. He credited the cheering crowds for keeping him going, and said he was "amazed" by his finishing time.
Crossing the finish line, "I had no pain whatsoever. 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," he said.
Aside from mental setbacks that one would get while running a marathon, he notes that it's very much a positive in his life:
A few years ago, Stolzfus got "involved with some stuff" he said he shouldn't have. His brother-in-law suggested he start running instead when he was tempted. He took the suggestion to heart, and went out for a run.
"I ran between two and three miles, and I thought 'Wow, this is hard,'" he said. But he stuck with it.
After this Harrisburg Marathon finish, he's interested in taking part in the Boston Marathon, even though he doesn't train as much as most runners do. But if he says that running's made his life "a whole lot better," then many props should go out to him, especially if he's running in traditional clothes.
(h/t Associated Press)