BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Runners from around the country will soon line up at the State Capitol for the 3rd Louisiana Marathon. The race isn't until Sunday, January 19, but participants are already preparing for the race.
Whether you run, walk, bike, or you're a couch potato like me, there's something for everyone here. The biggest thing I've learned here is that marathoners come in all shapes and sizes.
Runner Doug Vogel doesn't just run marathons; he counts them.
"We got a lot of numbers," said Vogel. "We go from 0.0 to 26.2 times 100."
He started a sticker and magnet business in his garage but says the garage became too small, and they needed more space.
"We cover 350 stores and supply the largest running store in the country," Vogel explained.
With his lackadaisical gait, wheezing cough, and prominent pooch, Ray Shaw doesn't look like much of a runner but he and Vogel know each other very well.
"We do have your 26.2 times 100 plus," said Vogel.
Shaw replied, "Yeah, but I ain't interested in that one."
Ray Shaw began training and ran his first marathon at the age of 49, just seven years ago.
"I needed to lose weight, and I wanted to do something my wife likes doing. I had to be able to keep up with her.," said Shaw.
Since then, he has won an amazing 197 races.
"I'm not out there to win the race. Every race I sign up for, I win when I cross the finish line. Theoretically, I've won 197 races," he explained.
Shaw is selling T-shirts for Marathon Maniacs- a group of runners just as crazy as he is. Shaw said he has been called crazy quite a few times. But he said there shouldn't be any real concern.
He said, "Oh don't worry about time. I go out, and as long as I make it in before they roll the sidewalks up on me, I'm happy."
And Ray Shaw goes for his 198th marathon on Sunday. The Expo at the River Center is open Saturday from 11 to 5. Kickoff to the race is 7a-m Sunday. Shaw got me feeling so good, I may just pick up some shoes and join him.