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Harold Benton - High Mileage, Some Wear and Tear

Harold was born in Atlanta with a split service personality-mother was in the Navy and father was in the Army.  They met working at the Pentagon, married, downloaded Harold, and got divorced.  A few years later Harold’s mother moved to Albany, GA where she worked at the military base.  In 1964 Harold’s mother was involved in a vehicle accident that broke both her legs and broke Harold’s right leg near the ankle.  Harold worked in Big Star grocery part time while in high school and was the proud owner of a Suzuki motorcycle.  He spent his spare time climbing sand dunes and jumping mini hills with his motor cycle.  

Harold’s first gig after graduation in 1977 was an employee of Procter and Gamble in the Pampers section, (He was not required to wear them).  After a year, Harold fast tracked to clean up in the Bounty section.  Harold left Procter and Gamble seeking a more fluid employment landing in suds at Miller Brewing in 1979.  Harold stayed with Miller Brewing longer than most of us, for thirty-six years.  Persistent Harold graduated from a junior college with an associate degree that he has never used.  

Harold admits to having been married twice.  His second wife Valerie has been married to Harold for twenty-two years.  Harold’s son from his prior marriage, Jacob, is a video game designer residing in Seattle, Washington. Valerie’s son from a prior marriage, Ben, is a pharmacist with the University of Kentucky Hospital in Lexington, Kentucky.  Our society is becoming more multi-general much like our fore fathers.  Harold is no exception as his mother resides with he and Valarie.  Both Harold and Valerie sing in their church choir at First Baptist of Leesburg with Valerie performing many solo numbers. 

Harold disliked running when he was younger, and only started when he left Proctor and Gamble at age twenty-two.  Harold ran his first 10K in 1980 in 48:13. Harold recalls that the entry fee was $3.50! Obviously, Harold has persevered and is now paying higher entry fees.  He placed first in the Run and See Georgia male 55-59 age group in 2017 with over 2,700 points.  His PRs are 5K-16:44, 8K-27.53, 10K-34:32 and half marathon-1.20:32.  Harold’s initial running success was interrupted in 1984 when he broke the sesamoid bones in both feet.  Running was uncomfortable after surgery to correct the injury damage and developed a knot like a golf ball in his right heel.  After consultation with two physicians, Harold ruled out additional surgery and has lived with the discomfort.  Harold alleges that he has slowed down but most of us dispute this allegation.  Harold acknowledges that his biggest accomplishment in 2017 was escaping Rick Hayes’ age group so he could now compete with Roger Keel and Randy Ballew. Bob does not consider this an improvement!  Harold can challenge Roger Keel’s driving mileage record since he travels from Leesburg in south east Georgia to Atlanta and Athens area races each weekend.

Harold’s favorite races are the Macon Labor Day 5K, the Covington Fire House 5K, and the Madison In May and Christmas Rush races in Madison.  Harold adds Roger Keel’s Valley, Alabama races to his list of favorites.  Harold “has met so many wonderful people” and “has traveled all over Georgia” participating in races. Harold confirms that he “has been blessed with good friends with a common interest”.  We are blessed to know Harold!

Bob checking out from the back of the pack. Look for the profile of transplanted Athenian Fran Fussell and profile of John Johnson.