Member Profile:

Gary Keller                                                                                                          April 2016

This month’s featured member is Gary Keller.

Gary is known throughout the club for his generous donation of time to whomever is in need of help, whether it be moving, house projects, or lawn care. He also has given countless hours to the finish line of the Lake Wobegon Trail Marathon, including setting up the chute and kitchen, supervising the area, and helping runners as they cross the finish line (though there is speculation that getting to hug the ladies as they cross the finish line may have had something to do with his continued service!)

Gary started running in junior high as he was too small for the football team. In 9th grade he ran the 440 for North Junior High and never lost a race. He ran track in college at NDSSS but said it was no fun! In his early adult life he took a break from running, bowling and playing softball three nights a week. At the age of 49, he was inspired while watching his son run Grandma’s Marathon. Gary started training and ran the Gary Bjorklund half in 2004. Gary’s PR in the half is 1:31:25, which he achieved in Eagle River in 2007. Gary’s proudest running moment happened at the Earth Day 5K; Gary had trained really hard for that race and finally beat a man in his age group whom he had never beaten before. He is also proud of winning his age group four years in a row (2004-2007) in the Glacial Lakes Running Series. 

Gary has one son, Phil, who was a successful runner at NDSU, having a 5K best of 15:30. Gary is also the proud grandpa of Micah (pictured). 

Gary was working the finish line of the St. Joe 5K in 2004, volunteering and cheering Phil on to a first place finish. It was at this finish line that he met Pat Ross, who encouraged him to join the St. Cloud River Runners.

Outside of running, Gary enjoys woodworking and spending time with Micah. He’s is looking forward to Micah’s baptism this summer.

Random facts about Gary:

  • He once bowled a 300 game at the Great River Bowl, though he is more proud that over the span of 20 years, he averaged 205 or better per game in league play,
  • which is 90-96 games.
  • Gary’s first job was flipping burgers at Bunny’s Diner (now the liquor store on Highway 10). This was also Gary’s least favorite job he’s ever had.
  • When Gary ran cross-country in high school, he did it barefoot (most of the races were held on golf courses).
  • Gary’s scariest moment in life came in 1963 when he was in the back of a station wagon on a family trip. His father was driving 75 MPH through a curvy mountain road that didn’t have any guard rails.