Living unhealthy in his thirties, Roy Pirrung got inspired by an obese woman who ran past his house every day. So Roy decided to make miles to lose weight, gave up smoking and became fitter.
In 2019 he had completed 152 marathons and 210 ultra marathons and is an inspiring role model to others who want to change their lifestyle.
He has run more than 100,000 miles in his life and reached the finish line of over 1,000 races.
Only three runners worldwide, Yiannis Kouros, Roy Pirrung, and Ray Krolewicz have exceeded 50 finishes of 100 miles or more.
In 2016, when Roy was 68 years old, he could still finish 100 miles in 24 hours, which he did twice that year.
He also completed a 50-miler in an outstanding time of 8:21, a World Best Performance 65-69.
Roy still holds various USATF Road 100-mile age-group records: 45-49 14:31, 55-59 15:49, and 60-64 15:29. He still competes at a high level.
Roy gives back in many ways, serving on running associations and councils, and in his local community.
In 2013 Roy ran the Flanders Field Marathon in Ypres, Belgium, in memory of James “Jimmy” Duffy.
James was one of the world’s best marathon runners at the beginning of the 20th century, who participated in the 1912 Summer Olympics in Stockholm and he was also the winner of the 1914 Boston Marathon.
“I was invited and his name was inscribed on my bib #. I was given bib #65, my age, and finished in 65th place,” Roy remembers.
James was Irish, grew up in Scotland, and then moved to Canada. “When he won Boston it was over another Canadian in the closest finish to date—15 seconds,” Roy says.
“With his absence because of World War I, the runner Fabre went on to win in 1915, just four days before Duffy was hit in the head by shrapnel and who died a day later, on April 23, 1915.
I received an invite from the Race Director from the Flanders Field Marathon, who I knew personally through my involvement with the International Ultrarunning Association. The RD knew that I was a veteran and also that I served in a unit, while in Germany, that had fought at the Battle of the Bulge, in Belgium, during WWII.
Duffy was killed and buried in one of many cemeteries we ran through that marathon day. It was an honor to run in Duffy’s memory.”