Ken Martin, one of the top US steeplechasers in the late seventies, early 1980s, moved to the marathon. By 1989, he had run a 2:09:38, and taken second in the NYC Marathon. Today, he is battling cancer and trying to find the link between cancer and exercise. You will be inspired by his bravery….
Ken Martin, NYC Marathon, 1989,
It was October 1983, and I had just run the Nike OTC Marathon rather poorly. I was running up in Eugene, around the University of Oregon when I saw Ken Martin on a short run. Martin, a former U of O steeplechaser, was training with his then-wife, Lisa Martin, a top Australian marathoner. Ken Martin was well liked on the circuit, and always seemed pretty mellow during his college and post collegiate running.
Martin had been a top steeplechaser while at Oregon, and then, in 1984 and 1985, started running longer distances. In 1989, Martin ran a 2:09:38 for the marathon, finishing second in the NYC Marathon, and running the best performance by an American in the Big Apple in many years. Victah Sailer, one of the top photographers in the sport, recently called Ken a ” great athlete and a good guy”.
Now, Ken Martin is battling a tougher adversary. He has non-Hodgkins Lymphoma, and while he put the cancer in remission, a more aggressive form of cancer developed, and he will be having, in mid April a blood stem cell transplant, to make sure that the cancer does not recur.
Here is a story on Ken Martin and his battle with cancer. Note that Ken has started a program to determine if there is a link between exercise and cancer. His foundation is called www.workoutcancer.org. The guy had been, until recently, training for eleven months to break the best mile on record by a 50-55 year old male: 4:25. He had to quit that level of training when the cancer returned.
Keep Ken Martin, his wife Stephanie and their three kids, 9, 14, 15, in your thoughts and prayers.