3 Cassville residents over 40 place in half-marathon

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Local runners clock 4-6 miles per day to stay in shape

Three Cassville residents recently ran in the White River Half-Marathon held in Cotter, Ark., placing first, third and 16th in their respective divisions.

Ron Stafford, 46, placed 12th overall and first in his age division of 45-49 with a running time of 1:37:07. Dennis Jacobs, 49, placed 44th overall and third in his age division of 45-49 with a running time of 1:53:44; and Lisa Munday Jacobs, 42, placed 155th overall and 16th in her age division of 40-44 with a time of 2:18:49.

More than 765 runners participated in the half-marathon and full marathon, with 337 of the total runners participating in the half-marathon.

For the trio, age is truly just a number, as they don't let it stop them from staying in shape, which they say keeps them healthy in body, mind and spirit.

Dennis Jacobs said he stays in shape by running every day and working out at the Cassville YMCA four times a week, where he can also works at the front desk helping members check in, showing them how to use equipment, the ActivTrax system and with just about anything they need.

Jacobs has run half-marathons before, but this was his first time to place.

"It felt amazing being able to accomplish a goal after training so hard to do so," he said.

Each morning, he and his wife Lisa Jacobs get up at 4 a.m. and run four miles together to stay fit, adding a 6-12-mile run on weekends.

Lisa Jacobs works at the Walmart home office in risk management, yet makes time to stay fit by running.

"Through running, I have lost over 40 pounds in 18 months," she said. "I started at the YMCA on the treadmill, and did the Couch to 5K setting where you start running for two minutes at a time, then work up to three miles."

Stafford, a business manager who works in Springdale, Ark., also gets started early, rising at 4 a.m. and running 5-6 miles each day. To him, being over 40 is really irrelevant when it comes to accomplishing his goals.

"I run daily and eat a balanced diet," he said. "The 40-50-year-old division in marathons is the most competitive age bracket, and it's because it's made up of people who've decided to take their health seriously. I feel very satisfied [with the race] because it shows all the hard work I put in that paid off. I've run 20 half-marathons in the last few years."

Stafford said running also provides him with another benefit -- friendship and community engagement.

"Running is about community, fellowship and keeping your body in shape," he said. "I've made lots of friends in the four-state area."

With a new year approaching, Stafford said the best advice he would give others wanting to get in shape and stay in shape is to pick a cardiovascular activity to help burn calories, find an accountability partner or group to participate in and eat a balanced diet.

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