Lou & Charles Peyton Receive Lifetime Achievement Award

11/21/2017 - 16:54

Lou.jpgHOT SPRINGS, AR — Lou and Charley Peyton received the 2nd RRCA Arkansas Lifetime Achievement Award at the 30th Annual RRCA Arkansas State Meeting.

The award was presented by David Samuel, former southern region director and Arkansas state rep, who said:

"Charley and Lou directed the first ten Arkansas Traveler 100-Milers along with numerous Arkansas Ultra Running Association (AURA) trail runs through the years. Besides being very active in the early years with the Little Rock Roadrunners Club, they were also responsible for the organization of the AURA. Both were recently inducted into the AURA Hall of Fame — and into the Arkansas Roadrunners Hall of Fame many years ago.

"I could spend 10 minutes listing the many running accomplishments by Lou Peyton. I do know that she was the 14th of 22 finishers and the only female completing the 1989 Arkie Ultra 50-Miler on the Bona Dea Trail in Russellville. In 1992, Lou and Jim Schuler run/walked the Ouachita Trail (Talimena, Oklahoma to Pinnacle Mountain). In 1993, Jim Schuler, Simon Hauser and Lou run/walked the Ozark Highland Trails. She has completed twenty 100-milers in the required time limit, including seven finishes in the Arkansas Traveller 100 Miler.

"Lou has two other great accomplishments. One is the Grand Slam of Ultra Running (four 100-milers in the same year). Then last September, on Labor Day, Lou completed her third 'Race for the Ages' in Tennessee. The runners were challenged to complete as many miles as they could depending on their age. After completing 100 and 102 miles in the previous two events, at age 73 Lou finished with 105 miles in 73 hours.

"Lou was the RRCA/Arkansas Female Masters Runner of the Year in 1989; the RRCA/Arkansas Female Ultra Runner of the Year in 1990, 1991, and 1993; and the RRCA/Arkansas Female Ultra Masters Runner of the Year in 1994, 1996, 1998, and 1999.

Samuel added:

"I would like to close out with a 1981 article from The Runaround newsletter written by Charles Peyton after he was honored as the Little Rock Roadrunners Club April “Runner of the Month.”

In that article, Charles Peyton wrote:

“I began running back in the summer of 1970 as a hefty 200 pounder. At the urging of my wife, Lou, who was already a five mile a day runner. I would lace up my combat boots and head for my track. My track was the drive-in circle of the Pulaski Federal Savings and Loan Branch office. Maybe 20 circles to the quarter mile. Gradually I evolved into the typical mile-a-day jogger just to stay in shape for softball season.

"I enjoyed this routine until the Holiday Road Race in December of 1976. A 4-mile race through Pleasant Valley directed by Gary Smith, Otis Edge and Terry Mathews. This is where I first heard the term “marathon’ and shortly thereafter came into possession of a Runners World magazine. While reading this old back issue I thought of how unique it would be to run one of these ‘marathons.’ I started to train longer and faster and two years and two knee operations later, I found myself in front of my house trying to walk again.

"If only I could get that mile-a-day back. By ten months I was up to a slow 10 to 15 miles per week. And then it happened! On Dec. 12, 1979, while driving home from work, my car caught fire and burned. What was I to do? How could I get to work until my car was repaired? The only answer was to ride the BUS. But – at that time there was no bus service to North Little Rock where I worked. I would have to catch the bus to downtown Little Rock and then run to (work) at the hospital – 4 miles. Reverse the run/bus in the afternoon.

"I purchased a day-pack for my clothes and December 17th I said a prayer and walked to the bus top at Cantrell and Mississippi. It was 5:15 AM, 11 degrees with the wind out of the north at 30 MPH. Since that day I haven’t looked back. I had stumbled onto an “oasis”. To my surprise I found that my car could be done without and sold it. I found that if I didn’t go too fast and get plenty of rest, the 4 miles, AM and PM, could be made with ease. I also found that it was possible to run in the heat, snow, sleet and rain and enjoy it.

"Since that first cold morning I haven’t missed a day due to the weather or illness, and lo and behold I found myself standing at the starting line of the Houston Marathon/81 on January 10th! I’ll admit to mixed feelings of inadequacy and confidence. I was apprehensive because I had a goal of a 3:50 marathon without any long runs or speed work. 10 miles and 10:00 pace was the max. But I knew I had the base: 18 weeks averaging 39 MPW; 18 weeks of averaging 46 miles per week and 20 weeks averaging 56 miles per week — 2,645 total miles in 56 weeks.

"At the halfway point I was on a 9:08 pace and felt like I was holding back. Passing the 20 mile point I realized that there would be no cramps or “wall” for me at this marathon and started my kick. The last 6.2 miles I averaged an 8-minute pace. It hurt sooo good. I’m proud of my 3:52 and would like some day to lower my time. However, my goal is to Run/Bus to work and anything above that is a Honey Bun. Many of you know that if you have something you like and it is taken away and then you get it back, it becomes a little more special the second time around.”

(Note: After four years of training by Charley and eight years by Lou, they both ran the 1985 Boston Marathon.)

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