RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Ben Angle’s introduction to running came in 1999 when he was a soccer player at Lynchburg College, and his younger brother invited him to join a group of friends in the event. After his season concluded Ben accepted.
“I wasn’t really sure how far it was, had never run a race before, didn’t know anything about bib numbers or chip timers or anything. When we showed up at the start line, the gun went off, and so did I, as fast as I could,” Angle said.
Ben was the race leader for about a quarter of a mile - well, approximately.
"I can remember when the leaders caught up to me said something like we hope you had fun, and for the next four hours, seas of people just passed me."
It was 18 miles before the Goochland native had to slow to a walk, but he definitely caught the bug that day.
After college, he played in some recreational soccer leagues, but running started to take over. Ben took part in the Richmond Marathon the following year, and later, some shorter races.
“I still needed that outlet I could control myself, and running’s the one thing you can control. You control the effort you put in, you control what you put into your body, you can control so many elements of it, and that was the outlet I found,” he said.
Fast forward to the present day, and Ben, now living in Alexandria with his family, has run 25 marathons, and four ultra-marathons. It’s safe to say he’s found some peace in pounding the pavement.
“You learn a lot about yourself, you learn a lot about life, you have time to think, you feel better when you’re done running, at least I do. You don’t always feel good when you start running, but if you can convince yourself to get up and go, you feel better,” he said.
Ben’s goal is to run a marathon in all 50 states. He’s crossed 12 off of the list, but no matter where he goes, the Richmond Marathon always holds that special place in his heart.
“Richmond’s home, it’s a friendly course, the community comes out to support every single time, every neighborhood’s unique, it’s got a mix of a city feel, it’s got a mix of a rural feel when you run along the water, everyone’s friendly, everyone cheers and is supportive. It’s like that everywhere, Richmond’s just, it’s special 'cause it’s home.”
Copyright 2019 WWBT. All rights reserved.