Monday, December 7, 2009

In Memory: Larry Olsen's Lifetime Love...

Yesterday, the world lost a truly unique and gracious man. For those of you from Southern New England, you may have come across Larry Olsen at one time or another. He was a 63 year old local MA running legend and he died yesterday of an apparent heart attack while doing what he loved doing most: running.

In his lifetime, Larry ran a 2:19 at the Boston Marathon and broke two national records since becoming a masters runner including a 1:05:46 20K when 46-years-old and 43:30 12K when 61. He was a two-time Olympic trials marathon qualifier with more than 130,000 lifetime miles, having run 1,100 races and 273 career wins.

What made Larry so unique was that he literally would give the shirt off his back to the kids he coached as the assistant coach of a local high school team in Hopedale, MA. He was a man of meager possessions as he did not even own a car, a TV, or a computer but the little he made through odd-jobs, coaching and winning he would donate to the poorest kids on the team. He was truly selfless and he will be missed.

1 comment:

KLIM said...

I met Larry at a race back in 1995. I was a HS sophomore and getting ready to race a 5 miler. Larry came up to me after the race to tell me how well I had done. It was a nice gesture, given that he was Larry Olsen (a MA legend). His reputation preceeded him.

"My heart has joined the thousand, for my friend stopped running today." - Richard Adams