Cooper River Bridge Run a stop in busy spring race season for 60-year-old retiree

Johnny Kiesewetter after the Cooper River Bridge Run. (Jenny Peterson/staff)

It’s safe to say that Johnny Kiesewetter, 60, has a running problem.

“I run 1,800 miles a year,” the Alexandria, Louisiana resident said.

“Every weekend since January, I’ve had a race; next week, I will run in a race in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi and I’ll finish the season in Yellowstone National Park on June 9,” he said.

The Cooper River Bridge Run was a stop on his busy spring race tour.

“This was the first time I’ve ever been in Charleston and the race was great,” he said after the race. “It was great bridge—it’s beautiful and fun to run over.”

He said he finished the race at 51 minutes.

“It wasn’t nearly a top finish for me, but I was happy,” he said.

His journey to racing came about after he retired.

“I retired and then I got fat,” he said. “I wanted to take Boy Scouts to Philmont Scout Ranch and I weighed 260 pounds and I couldn’t’ weigh more than 220 pounds,” he said.

“Then I found out in order to ride horses, you have to weigh under 200 pounds, so I arrived at 183 pounds now from 260 pounds.”

He ran in high school and college, so he said he was able to get back into the habit fairly quickly.

“Now, I live for running,” he said. “My running season ends June 9, but it will start up again in September when it cools down again. My calendar is full from October through December already,” he said. “I’m as healthy as a horse.”

Kiesewetter said he trades out between three different pairs of running shoes.

“A pair of shoes lasts every 350 miles. If I was just running in one pair, it would last me a little over two months,” he said.

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