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TRL Member Profile: Mark Mochon

Editor’s note: Mark Mochon has been with TRL since before TRL was a true “team.” He spent years helping to organize the club, and more years serving as run leader for one of its weekly runs. He served as vice-president, and stepped up to president when the then-president moved to the Middle East. He’s probably been a Lizard longer than any other current member, still alive. Seriously. If you’re under 40, Mark has been a Lizard for longer than you’ve been walking, let alone running.

1. How long have you been running and why did you start running? I began running in college, probably around 1976. I went to school on the northern California coast. I used to be painfully shy. I took a speech class and would run before my class, barefoot on the beach, to calm myself down.

2. How long have you been part of TRL, and what drew you to the club in the first place?

I have been a member of the Lizards since its inception around 1993 or so. We used to have membership cards with numbers on them which showed how many members had joined before you. I still have my original card – I am # 6. The club founder, Kevin Foreman, got me hooked in. He owned a running store in Lake Oswego that I hung around a lot.

3. What do you do when you’re not running (job, family, school…whatever it is you’d use to introduce yourself outside of running)? I’m now 72 and a retired high school shop teacher. I’ve run for about 45 years and raced around 40 of those. I’ve slowed considerably in the past 5 years and as a result I don’t put in the miles I used to. I’m still very active though. I either run, bike, kayak or walk crazy long distances most every day. I’ve also recently taken up jump roping! I also design and build furniture for fun.

4. What’s your favorite distance/type of run (5K, half-marathon, marathon, ultras, relays, track, trail, etc.)? In my racing days I loved the half-marathon but I’ve raced everything from the mile to an ultramarathon. I ran Hood to Coast 23 of its first 25 years. These days I just search out the dirt to run for fun on trails.

5. Where is your favorite place to run in the greater Portland area? I really like Tryon. I go to Mary S. Young quite often as well. I do volunteer work at Hopkins Demonstration Forest out by Oregon City and it has a great trail system for running too.

6. What’s your most memorable running experience (or experiences)? Hmmm. So many. A few come to mind – the 100th anniversary of the Boston Marathon was amazing. There was also a 30K in Death Valley. And nothing can compare to a half-marathon in Kenya in a wildlife preserve with armed guards flying overhead in helicopters to keep the dangerous animals off the race course.

7. What’s the best running advice you’ve ever received? It’s a silly sport, really. Just keep at it as long as it stays fun. Don’t get obsessed with times.

8. Tell us one fun fact, hidden talent, or something we don’t know about you, but should? Nineteen years ago, on June 21st while camping alone in the middle of nowhere near the Oregon/California border I went for a run on an overgrown and abandoned logging road where I was attacked by a black bear. As I was stumbling backward to get away from it, I swung a backhanded fist into its snout and it backed off. I still have a scar on my right thigh where its “fingernails” scraped me.

Discussion

One Response to “TRL Member Profile: Mark Mochon”

  1. Fantastic Mark! Why haven’t I heard about the bear attack before!?

    Posted by Cynthia Hall | January 9, 2023, 5:30 am

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