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Monday, Sep. 26, 2016

They're fast on their feet

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Three generations of Streeter men finished first in their divisions of the Mercy Day Run last Sunday at Mercy Hospital. Pictured from left are Ray 71, Bernard, 41, and Lake, 11. (Tina Rockhold/Submitted Photo
Three generations of Streeter men may have taken the expression "The apple doesn't fall from the tree" to the extreme. Last Saturday, Ray, 72, Bernard, 41, and Lake, 11, all captured first place in their respective divisions in the 5K race during Mercy Hospital's Mercy Day Run.

But the Streeters' story and their collective love of running starts long before last weekend.

Bernard recalls when he and his mother would drive around and see his father, Ray, running.

"I remember coming home sometimes and he was running when it was cold outside," Bernard said. "He would have icicles hanging off his nose or his eyebrows as he came in the house and I thought it was neat so I picked it up."

Ray, who turned 72 yesterday, captured first place in the over 70 division. He said he's always loved sports and started running a little somewhere in his 30s.

"I was in the Air Force Reserves and they always watch your weight a little, so whenever I'd start getting a little too heavy, I started running," Ray said. "Then I really got into it."

He said for several years he ran a lot of 5 and 10Ks, mostly in his 40s.

"Then in my 50s, if I gained a little weight, I started running again. Here lately I haven't been running and I definitely gained some weight. Unfortunately, it doesn't come off as fast as it used to," Ray said with a laugh. "I've always enjoyed running, I've run a half marathon before in Portland. I just love it. Once you get running, it just feels good and I think you just get a natural high. When you are finished and everything you just feel good about it."

Ray said his son Bernard began running with him when he was in junior high.

"But he couldn't keep up with me," Ray said. "Now he just smokes me really bad. He's paying me back. But I think it's neat that I can still do something with my son and grandson. That makes me feel pretty darn good."

Bernard, who competed in the 40-49 division, said he enjoyed running with his dad way back when and that enjoyment has not waned.

"Running was kind of a way to hang out with him, too, but then it stuck," Bernard said. "It's something that I have continued to do all my life and I still get a whole lot of enjoyment out of it."

Bernard continued running throughout school, competing in 800 meter and mile events.

He said he enjoys running still, but maybe now for different reasons.

"I enjoy the natural health benefits and it's the best thing for stress relief," Bernard said. "I just get full enjoyment out of the whole experience, I like being outside. I'm an early morning person, so I go out early mornings."

The youngest Streeter, Lake, who also placed second for all divisions in his first-ever 5K, gained his love for the sport from his father as well -- when he was about 3 years old.

"He'd run a lot and he'd take me with him," Lake said. " We'd run a little bit when I was about 3 and he would carry me on his shoulders mostly."

Bernard said little Lake would start out, hoping to run with his dad, but would tire as little ones do.

"He would take out with me, but he couldn't make it back, so I'd have to put him on my shoulders. But I was in a whole lot better shape back then," Bernard laughed.

Bernard and Ray both agree the Mercy Day Run was very well organized.

Ray said he hasn't competed in about 10 to 15 years and thought the Mercy Day Run was better than what he could remember.

"I enjoyed it thoroughly," Bernard said. "It was very well put together, very professionally run and just a fun time."

Bernard said he already knew his son Lake had done well in the race, but was unaware of his own finish.

"When I first crossed in, I was kind of surprised. They came up to me and told me I won my division. I said, 'Okay, that's a nice surprise.'"

He said he knew Lake would have had to have won his division, because he knew the older man that had won the overall.

"I knew that Lake was right behind him," Bernard said.

"To be fair to him, I held him back about a mile and a half. I didn't know how well he would do, so I tried to help pace him," Bernard added. "When I realized he wasn't even breathing hard and I was about to die, I told him 'just keep going; just go get 'em,' so he just took off."

Lake said he tries to run every day.

"I just like the exercise and I like to run," said Lake, who competed in the 18 and under division.

Lake said his favorite distance is the mile but said that he has run as much as six miles.

Ray said his times weren't quite as impressive as his son and grandson's.

"Of course I finished way back from them," Ray said. "I didn't know how I finished so I just went up there and asked them and they said they probably had a medal for me. I didn't know what it was and later they came up and said it was gold." Ray said he had already learned about the other two Streeters by that time.

A humble Ray credits a lack of entries in his age group for his win.

"That helped me because it wasn't a whole lot of competition," Streeter said. "One thing I can say about getting old is you don't have as much competition."

Despite their success in the Mercy Day Run, this is probably not a swan song for the Streeter men -- not if Bernard gets his way.

"I hope we can continue to do some more together," Bernard said as he smiled at his father.

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Hey! Hey! RAYMOND! The FSHS Class of 1958 is proud of you,I'm sure!!! Keep it up!!!

Your Classmates!!

-- Posted by Fort Scott Friend on Thu, Oct 4, 2012, at 9:11 AM

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