Manhattan runner celebrates 90th birthday with 90 laps around Ahearn Fieldhouse

AJ Dome, The Manhattan Mercury, Kan.
·3 min read

Apr. 2—Marvin Hachmeister said he likes the social aspect of running.

"Last year was not a year to be out much, so I didn't get to associate with people very much," Hachmeister said.

Hachmeister has been running since high school, and on March 9 he celebrated his 90th birthday by running 90 laps around Ahearn Fieldhouse at K-State. He began this celebratory run by completing 50 laps when he turned 50 and said he liked it so much he kept going.

"My main thing is, I like to encourage people when I'm out running," Hachmeister said. "I've got lots of friends who run, and I enjoy that."

He said the K-State cross country teams ran alongside him during part of his 90 laps.

"I started at about 6:30 a.m., and they came in around 7," Hachmeister said. "They ran a few laps with me, then went out to run on the road, and when they came back I was still running, so they finished up with me. That was kind of a high for me."

Hachmeister said he tries to run about 4-5 miles a day, at least five or six days of the week. He said he tries to maintain regularity with his exercise schedule, or he feels strange.

"If I quit running for maybe 4-5 days, I just don't feel right," Hachmeister said. "My system is used to running or exercising."

Hachmeister said the company on a run is appreciated, and lately his dog has been going on runs with him. Due to the pandemic, he said he has not run with anyone for over a year, and he encourages people who are just starting to run to find a partner.

"Whenever I talk to anyone, I say if you can have a running partner, that's the best," Hachmeister said. "One day you might not want to run, and your partner might say, 'Let's go,' and gets you out there... it's just fun to do."

Hachmeister said, if you are running so fast you can't talk to your partner, you're running too fast.

"I don't know whether that's true or not, but I think there's something to that," Hachmeister said.

Hachmeister said he ran in this year's St. Patrick's Day race by himself, and he has only missed one of the late March races since 1979. He has become such a large part of the Manhattan running community that he has an event named after him: the Marvin Hachmeister 10K Road Race, which is part of the St. Patrick's Day run. He said the next race he will participate in is the Bill Snyder 5K on May 22.

"I know a lot of people like to run the half-marathon, but I can't run those anymore," Hachmeister said. "It's a little too far for me."

He said he is undecided on whether he will run the 5K or 10K events in the Sunflower Games in Topeka this year.

"It just depends," Hachmeister said. "Sometimes I don't feel very good, so I say, 'Well maybe I don't want to run a 10K,' but then I start running it and I feel a lot better."

When he's not running, Hachmeister tends to a farm near the town of Keats. He said he thinks a lot of the process of aging involves a person's attitude toward life.

"I try to keep a pretty positive attitude, and most of all I keep an attitude that I like people," Hachmeister said. "That's the reason I go to races, and if I can, why I like to run with other people."