Never say never, but there are two things that are almost certain about Michael Webster.
Had the 62-year-old Northville resident not picked up a copy of the Detroit Free Press in early 1983, he likely never would’ve met his wife of 33 years, Vicki, 65, nor would he have become an avid runner, one who’s about to achieve a milestone most would never fathom reaching.
So what the heck was in that edition of the newspaper?
It was an advertisement for the 1983 Freep Marathon disguised as a training plan. It was one of those couch-to-42-kilometers how-to guides that broke down how many miles you needed to run each week to ready yourself for the actual marathon by the time it rolled around in the fall.
“I bet I can do that,” Michael remembered saying to himself as he grabbed a pair of scissors, cut out the training plan and placed it under a magnet on his refrigerator. “I said, ‘I want to test myself. I think I can make it.’ I tried following it, but then I wasn’t following it too much. Just about everything you could do wrong I did during that first marathon.”
That was almost 40 years ago. Michael made it to the finish line. But it wasn’t pretty.
When he lines up to run the Freep Marathon once again on Oct. 16, it’ll be his 100th marathon.
That’s right. He went from reading a random article in a newspaper to becoming a hobbyist runner obsessed with pushing his body’s limits to its breaking points and even thriving in the process.
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