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First Monday/Track Meet/Meet Don Price
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Photo taken by Johnny Chapin at the BRR pot-luck breakfast Sunday, May 25 on the patio of the Millennium Harvest House Hotel.  We were joined by Ewen and Heather North and members of Running Revolution.
MEET DON PRICE by Gail Hunter
 
Were it not for the fact that he runs really fast, the expression “still waters run deep” would be a good description of Don Price.  In the running group, Don is quiet as he waits for the runs to begin.  He runs fluidly as a part of the faster group.  It seems appropriate that he spent five years of his life gliding through the waters of the Atlantic and the Mediterranean in submarines. 
 
Don was born in Daytona Beach, Florida, in 1952.  His family is from Savannah, Georgia.  His father was in the Navy reserves and was called up during the Korean War.  His father had attended college for a year, then had joined the Navy as an officer.  He was stationed in Auckland, New Zealand and in Fiji during World War II.  His family returned to Savannah, where Don grew up in the quiet times of the 1950s and ‘60s.  The town was small and safe: at age eight Don would take the bus downtown and go to the movies on his own.    His parents owned a luggage and gift shop, and he began working there when he was seven or eight years old.  Don played outdoors with the neighborhood kids but didn’t participate in organized sports.  Don’s father developed MS, and golf was the only sport in which he could participate.  Starting at the age of ten, Don played too, and he and his friends would play 36 holes, carrying their own bags.  Don was a good student, skipped a grade in junior high, did well in all subjects, and was a member of a few clubs.  When it came time to choose a college, he applied to two:  Georgia Tech and the U.S. Naval Academy.  Don was accepted at both.  It was 1969.  His family wasn’t wealthy, and, unlike Tech the Naval Academy was free.  Don figured that with the Vietnam War in progress he was likely to end up in the military anyway so he chose the Naval Academy. 
 
What Don didn’t know about the Naval Academy was what life as a midshipman was like.  In his first year as a plebe he had, as they say, his ass run off!  (hazing, pressure and harassment from the upper classmen).  In addition to his studies, he was required to participate in physical education and sports, including swimming, martial arts, boxing, wrestling, crew, and squash, a game played with a small racquet and a very hard ball. Don didn’t study his first year and earned a 2.0 average.  He had quickly figured out that the consequences of failing to do what was ordered by the upperclassmen were worse than the consequences of failing to study.  Don now is a Blue and Gold Officer for the Navy.  In that role, he is assigned to five local high schools, and his job is to help high school students understand what to expect in their first year at the U.S. Naval Academy.  It takes a lot of grit not to quit during that first year, but Don never considered dropping out and going to Georgia Tech.    
 
Life at the Naval Academy was completely different after the first year.  Don enjoyed the physical activity and learning valuable life skills.  The students spent thirty days at home in the summer, then spent the remainder of the summer in a variety of programs: spending time learning to fly airplanes, living at Quantico with the Marines, living on submarines, and learning about leadership.  After graduation Don chose submarines as his field and spent another year in school in Connecticut and in Maryland, studying nuclear physics.  Don served on a submarine that carried sixteen nuclear ICBMs.  The submarines were on station at all times, so there were two complete crews for each sub.  A crew would work for three months, sailing out of Rota, Spain, and then would rotate back to Charleston, SC.  Working on the subs, dealing with the incredibly sophisticated machinery, and doing practice launches of ICBMs was fun.  Spending half of each year away from everything was less fun.  Don spent one year in training and four years on active duty.  He stayed in the reserves for another fifteen years before retiring.  His twenty years of service guaranteed him a pension and lifelong medical care. 
 
After leaving the military, Don took a job with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission in Atlanta, Georgia.  He also went to the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, studied business, and received an MBA. 
 
Don met his wife, Sheri, while living in Charleston.  She moved into the apartment complex where he lived, and each of them drove a Fiat Spider.  His was black; hers was white.  Their first date was a run.  Sheri worked for Delta Airlines, so they were able to maintain a long-distance relationship after Don moved to Atlanta.  They were married in 1979..  They lived for some time in Atlanta, with Don working for the NRC and Sheri working for Delta.
 
Don began running on July 1, 1969, on his second day at the Naval Academy.  Running was a required part of the physical fitness program.  Once Don acquired that physical edge, however, he didn’t want to give it up.  He wasn’t really interested in racing, but he would enter races when he visited his and Sheri’s relatives in Dallas and Phoenix.  In 1987 Don started a consulting company with three other people, and Don and Sheri purchased a townhouse on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.  Sheri had begun racewalking, so Don and Sheri joined the Potomac Valley Track Club.  Don worked at track meets and continued jogging.  He and Sheri also joined the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club and did a lot of hiking. 
 
In 2002 Don and Sheri moved to Annapolis.  They hadn’t had children and decided to adopt two children from an orphanage in Russia.  The children were a boy and a girl:  Sasha, aged four, and Kyra, who was nine months younger.  The children were not related but came from the same orphanage in Elista, in the Republic of Kalmykia.  Kindergarten is mandatory in the District of Columbia, and the public schools were not highly rated.  Aptitude tests were required for admission to the private schools, which cost $18,000 per child per year (!).  Children who spoke only Russian were not likely to score well on the aptitude tests and so couldn’t attend (even if the money was available which it wasn’t).  Ten days after Don and Sheri returned from Russia with the children, Don was at a park near their home and heard the plane fly into the Pentagon.  The atmosphere on Capitol Hill changed, and Don and Sheri decided to move to Annapolis, a smaller city with good public schools.  Don’s consulting company had been purchased by a larger one, and he was able to work from home, traveling to the companies with which he consulted. 
 
In Annapolis Don and Sheri joined the Annapolis Striders.  The Striders were the only club in town and would put on a race every month.  Don became involved in the club and organizing races.
 
Don and Sheri’s move to Boulder was precipitated by a dinner at a friend’s house.  They admired the pictures of sailboats on the walls.  In Annapolis, everyone sailed.  Don and Sheri’s walls were covered with pictures of mountains and hiking.  Annapolis was farther from the Appalachian Trail than their home in Washington had been, so they were hiking less frequently.  They did some research and put their house on the market in 2006, a month after the peak of the housing market.  Shortly thereafter, a tropical storm hit, and a tree crashed through their roof.  The sale delayed by the repairs, but soon they moved to Boulder.  They purchased a home near Whittier Elementary, where the children entered third grade.  Sasha and Kyra are now sophomores in high school, where Sasha is involved in football, wrestling, and track, and Kyra participates in soccer and track.
 
It’s a short jog from Don’s home to the foothills and the nearest trailhead, and Don tries to hike, bike, or run every day.  His training hit a bit of a setback in March, when he had surgery for prostate cancer.  Coincidentally, the first day he was allowed to run was Memorial Day.  Don ran the Bolder Boulder in 55:36, which is amazing.  Last year he finished in 47:25 and was 2nd in his age division.  Don hopes to be back to normal within a few weeks. 
 
Don runs more for the health benefits than to race.  He finds Boulder a great place for outdoor activities, as it has easy access to trails and good bike paths and lanes.  Since he joined Rich’s group his race times have dropped, and he is faster now than when he ran with the Annapolis Striders seven or eight years ago.  He finds hiking or running Mt. Sanitas to be a great workout.  Don and Sheri belong to the YMCA, but Don prefers the outdoors. His rule is that if he can be outside doing something – hiking, biking, or running, that is what he does. 
 
 
 
 
Up coming Events:
June 2nd:  First Monday from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at Avery Brewing.  Volunteer Recognition.
June 5th:  First track meet of the season.  Set up begins at 5 p.m. Events start at 6 p.m. Help is always needed and much appreciated.
June 19th Track Meet-National Olympic Day Celebration
June 26th:  Business Meeting at Avery's from 6 to 7 p.m.
June 29th:  Heart and Sole Half Marathon & 10K
June TDA March in support of a track and CC course at Valmont Park.  More details to follow.
 
Sign the Valmont Park Petition.  Help bring a public running track and cross country course to Boulder.
The BRR water station captain, Jerry Greenwald is looking for dedicated volunteers for the Heart and Sole Half Marathon on June 29thborn2runinbldr@yahoo.com
 
Pearl Street Mile
July 9 
Register

Course Marshalls, Lead Bike and Following Bike needed.
Dave Hardwick is coordinating volunteers.  Contact him if you wish to help.  A $10 Downtown Boulder gift card is offered to all who volunteer.
 
Next Fleet Feet run and shopping day is June 1st at 8 a.m.
Support Avery Brewing like they support the running community.
Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
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