Saturday, February 25, 2012

Barney Klecker- Ultra Running Monster

I recently stopped down at Bartling's Shoes, home of the Prairie Striders, to drop of my Prairie Striders dues for 2012.  I found Bob, founder/recently retired treasurer/librarian and we had a nice little chat.  I had marked that I may be interested in Ultras on my membership form and that led to Librarian Bob showing me his collection of Ultra Running Magazine dating back to 1981.  I checked out the first 5 issues and right in the first one I found a familiar name, Barney Klecker.  I am a youngin and hadn't heard the name until it came up in discussion of his children, John, Joe, Mary, Elizabeth, and Sarah.  John and Joe qualified individually for the State Meet in the fall and John placed 9th.

Klecker was a good, but not great, marathon runner in the late 1970s.  He won the Grandma's Marathon in 1978 with a time of 2:18:42.  He also won the 1977 and 1978 City of Lakes Marathon and earned a second place at Chicago in 1978.  His PR was said to be 2:15 or 2:16.  Barney began to run Ultras in order to prepare for this marathons.  He ran under 3 hours for 50k (31.11 miles) many times.  His crowning achievement is his still standing American Record in the 50 mile race of 4:51:25.  Yes, that is 5:49 pace for 50 miles.  At the time his mark was a World Record as well.  In 2010 Barney was inducted into the American Ultrarunning Hall of Fame.  He is married to Janis Klecker (Horns) who qualified for the 1992 Barcelona Olympics in the Marathon with Barney as her coach.

Klecker with his famous snowshoes

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Barney Klecker makes for a fine article. I know Janis competed at Edina (West or East) and then very briefly for Minnesota. I am not sure if Barney went to high school in Minnesota (if that is part of your criteria or not).