Madison man finishes 700th race

In Rock County this weekend, a Madison man is celebrating a milestone nearly 40 years in the making.

Runner John Lowrey has crossed the finish line more than most, an astonishing 700 times.

After four decades as a runner, Lowery still gets the “runner’s high,” claiming excitement each time he enters and finishes a race.

At 66 years old, Lowrey is still putting in hundreds of miles and training everyday.

Not that he hasn’t had setbacks: Lowrey had knee surgery 18 months ago and is also a cancer survivor.

Despite spending three months in a wheelchair recovering, Lowrey wasn’t about to let that setback keep him on the sidelines.

This weekend’s Saint Mary’s Harvest Bazaar “Fun Run/Walk” in Milton marks his 700th race.

Lowrey says he wanted to celebrate his achievement at one of his favorite 5K runs.

The proceeds from the race benefit Saint Mary of the Immaculate Conception in Milton.

“This year we’re going to designate the money to restore our stained glass windows,” said Tom Krausse, the run coordinator. “They’re in need of repair this year.”

Just under 100 people strapped in their running shoes and hit the course on Saturday. Organizers say seeing folks like John Lowrey cross the finish line is inspiring.

“He’s run 24 hours a day in wind and rain and snow and he goes all over the United States and he chose this race to be number 700,” said race organizer Mike Sheehy.

Lowrey says he has no plans to stop running, already scheduling his next race – the Turkey Trot in Madison.

Lowrey says anyone with a winning attitude can be a runner.

“It doesn’t matter if you aren’t any good, if you’re putting in more mileage than your competitor, there’s always a chance you can catch him on a bad day and beat him,” said Lowrey.

Lowrey said he first heard about Saint Mary’s “Fun Run” when he met former police chief Terry Hawkins.

Before Hawkins tragically died in a car crash earlier this year, the two ran in several races together.