John Ausherman, from Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, and I were bitter running rivals in the early 1980s. We may have raced against one another fifty times, and we probably split our victories over each other, 25-25. I ran a 2:22:54 marathon, John ran in the low 2:24s. I PR'ed at the Philly Half Marathon with a 1:08:04, he ran a 1:07:50. At the Cherry Blossom 10-Miler, we split victories, running in the high 51:00 and low 52:00 range.
In 1992, while on a family vacation at Myrtle Beach, I ran into "That Ausherman guy." By chance, our condos were several yards away from each other on the beach. We agreed to meet for a morning run the next day. What developed from that run was a friendship with a gentleman and a family that has grown over the years.
We have watched our families grow. I have been privileged to be part of a race, the Tom Ausherman Ausherman Memorial 5-Mile Run, established to honor John's father, a Marine, who helped launch the running boom in the Chambersburg area. I have had some of the greatest thriils of my life, hunting deer on his magnificent mountain in Doylesburg, PA. John has been a mentor to my son. His wonderful wife, Sue, has become a dear friend to my wife, Crissy. We attended his daughter's wedding, now we love his beautiful granddaughter.
John Ausherman and his daughter Lindsay
Tomorrow, my wife and I will drive to Doylesburg, to celebrate, and cheer for John's team, the Ravens, as they compete in the Super Bowl.
Much is said and written about the health benefits of running, but lasting friendships with good people are benefits that make our sport of running a great endeavor.