Boise sergeant runs 100 miles for the fun of it

Boise sergeant runs 100 miles for the fun of it

Gary Kunich

BOISE, Idaho — Call Paul Lindauer crazy. Everybody does, and he’s OK with that.

“I get called that a lot, actually,” he chuckled. “We are kind of weird and crazy. We live on the fringe. Maybe that’s some of the attraction.”

The Air Force master sergeant from the Boise, Idaho, Military Entrance Processing Station doesn’t just run–he runs … and runs … and runs. He’s an ultra-marathoner who completed a 100-mile race in 2002 and is preparing for another one this August in Easton, Wash. While training, he likes to throw in a few smaller runs, like a 31-miler he finished in Boise.

This 19-year Air Force medic spends his days as the medical noncommissioned officer in charge of the Boise MEPS, one of 65 processing stations throughout the United States that processes recruits for the military.

When he’s not working or spending time with his wife, Ann, and two children, Noelle, 13, and Luke, 9, he’s running. Normal daily jogs are five or 10 miles, with usually a personal marathon of three to five hours almost every weekend.

“Oh yeah! He’s definitely crazy,” his wife said.

Besides his personal runs and the 100-miler, he’s completed seven official marathons and four official runs longer than 26 miles. It keeps the 5-foot-10-inch runner at a lean 162 pounds with a 32-inch waist.

“I’m like everyone else. I’d like to lose five or 10 pounds,” he said. “But I eat ice cream and cookies every night.”

Sergeant Lindauer first started running while stationed at Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas. After a few runs around the block, he wanted to see if he could run to and from work. That took about an hour, so he decided to run two hours straight and built up from there. The next step was the 1995 White Rock Marathon in Dallas, Texas, where he finished in 3 hours, 50 minutes.

“From there on, I was hooked,” he said.

By 2002, he was ready for his first 100-miler–five loops around a 20-mile course over pavement, trails, mountains and wooded areas. The only rule was runners had to finish in 36 hours. He completed the trek in 35 hours, 29 minutes. Out of the 62 runners who started, he was one of 12 who finished.

“With a 100-miler, there is no sleeping, and if you sit or rest too long, you won’t complete it,” he said. “I actually think it’s easier than a marathon. With a marathon, you try to keep up with everyone, and you hit a wall faster. With an ultra, you learn to combine running with fast walking while going uphill. There are a few aid stations, but you only stay for a few minutes at each one. You learn how to hydrate and eat along the way, and you know there is a longer way to go, so you stay focused on that instead of going as fast as you can.”

Now he has his sights set on the Cascade Crest 100 in August in Washington, but life isn’t all running for him. Since joining the Air Force, he’s also earned a bachelor’s degree in health care management and a master’s in English. Now he’s considering earning a teacher’s certificate for a new job when he retires in the near future.

“All the running has helped me In life, too,” he said. “It’s helped me to set goals and to accomplish them. I know what I do isn’t for everybody, but if you like to run, and you want to get in shape, it’s the best exercise there is.”

COPYRIGHT 2004 U.S. Air Force, Air Force News Agency

COPYRIGHT 2004 Gale Group