There’s a foot race in Overland Park on Sunday. Bob Anderson founded it in December 2012. Before that, while in high school at Shawnee Mission West, he founded Runner’s World magazine.
Needless to say, Anderson thinks running is important. He began running in 1962 at age 14.
“Running is what makes my day complete,” Anderson said over the phone on Friday while sitting in a Phoenix airport en route to Overland Park.
Sunday’s race — the Double Road Race at Corporate Woods — is billed as the only race with a halftime. Runners complete a 10K, stop at a recovery zone for an hour, and then finish with a 5K. Times are combined for the sake of scoring.
Anderson now lives in San Francisco, Calif., and has since sold Runner’s World. Today, he focuses more on his own running. The consistency that California weather provides makes it easier for Anderson to get his running in every day, which he does. He did while living in Kansas, too, despite some unpredictable seasonal changes.
Since October 2008, Anderson has covered 30 miles per week. Running can get monotonous if running is all Anderson does, thought, so he incorporates as many activities and events as he can to keep things fresh.
“I definitely include racing,” he said. “Racing, I think, is very important.”
Sunday marks the 13th Double Road Race. One was in Athens, Greece, and future races will be held in China, Japan and Jamaica.
“It’s interesting,” Anderson said. “I was thinking about trying a triathlon, but I realized I really don’t swim or bike very well, so that was that on the triathlon. I wanted to come up with something new and fresh and something that would be really unique.”
Anderson expects around 500 participants Sunday. He wants to run decently, perhaps finish in the top three in his age group.
“It seems like the best is when I get into the run and things are just really clicking,” Anderson said. “I’m not breathing hard; it’s just all of the adrenaline is pumping and just the whole super feel of being out there. The endorphins have kicked in. And that can go for several miles.”
And then those miles are over, and it’s time to stop for a brief halftime before running some more.
“And then obviously finishing is great,” Anderson said.