By ABBY SOUZA
Chris Brodehl was one of about 75 runners who gathered at Blackcreek Park in Copperopolis on Saturday for the 11th Annual Copper Run. Out of those 75 runners, this Copperopolis resident was one of few in the 70 and over age range.
"I didn't start (running) until I was 65, when I retired," Brodehl, 73, said.
Before moving to Copperopolis 20 years ago, Brodehl worked as a printer in the Bay Area and was not so concerned with exercising or staying fit.
"I was a couch potato," Brodehl said. "If you're a couch potato, you die."
Brodehl now runs about 30 races a year, trains by running at least 20 miles a week, bicycles and volunteers for the Copperopolis Fire District.
"He amazes me," Cindy Payton, Brodehl's daughter, of Livermore said. "He's great inspiration."
This will be the second year Payton has come to visit her father and join him in the run.
The Copper Run consists of three races, a half-mile, a two-mile and a 10K race on the roads and paths surrounding Blackcreek Park. Proceeds from the run go to Copperopolis Elementary School and the fire district
Copper Run Coordinator Marilyn Richardson and husband Ed Friel created the race 11 years ago.
"My husband and I have run for years," Richardson, an Avery postmaster, said.
In 1992, Richardson said, she had been thinking about getting a local race started. Attending many run herself, Richardson took ideas she liked from those races and incorporated them into the Copper Run. The half-mile run, which children as young as 5 can participate in, came from a Sacramento race she attended.
"The half-mile was just so cute," she said.
Twenty-six youngsters ran in this year's half mile and received awards just like the adults do in the two-mile and 10K race.