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My top 10: Johnny Spriggs

Broken Arrow painting contractor Johnny Spriggs started running in 1998 to lose some weight and get his mid-40s body back into shape.

Despite running 130 marathon-distance (or longer) races to date, he says his greatest fitness achievement was simply getting off the couch and going out the door.

“After that, it is just a matter of putting one foot in front of the other until you have achieved your goal for that day,” he says.

Spriggs’ goal for Dec. 26, 2010, was to run a marathon. On that day he started running the Savage 7 in Ocala, Fla. — in which runners complete seven marathons in seven days on a quarter-mile track at a local high school. Of the 16 runners who signed up and ran the first day, only five completed the challenge, with Spriggs finishing first overall.

The highlight of Spriggs’ running career was in October 2010 when he finished his 100th marathon, the Heartland 100 in Kansas. Spriggs finished the 100-mile race in 26 1/2 hours.

Locally, Spriggs is a Tulsa Running Club board member and race director for the Fleet Feet Sports Post Oak Lodge Challenge. After running the Route 66 Marathon for a few years, Spriggs joined the behind-the-scenes action as a director to give back to the running community and to Tulsa.

Spriggs says he does not plan to do any more seven-day races or 100-milers.

“My motto is ‘run for fun,’ and those longer races tend to start feeling like torture,” he says. “I am staying with the marathon distance for now.”

Johnny's top 10: 

My home (seen above): After my wife, Debbie, of 39 years and my kitty cat, Delilah, my home makes the list because that is the space we share together. There are a lot of good memories in this house. 

Little John: My little silver running buddy. We have finished every run we ever started.

My Vita Mix blender: It mixes up all my fruit drinks that help me stay healthy.

Brookside By Day (BBD): Because Jeb Perry is the best waiter in Tulsa.

My Heartland 100 Belt Buckle: This is what they give you for finishing, and it reminds me that I can do anything that I set my mind to. All I have to do is believe and get my butt out the door. I have some great memories from this event. You cannot put a price on that.

My iPad: I use it for work and personal email and Internet stuff. I can use it anywhere that I can get a phone signal. How did I ever get by without it?

My Toyota Prius: Because it gets 50 mpg.

The Ab Roller: Because when you are a guy in his 50s you need all help you can get keeping your gut tucked in. I use it three to four times a week.

My little yellow fan: It goes with me on every trip I take, even when I fly. I love this fan because it make just enough noise to drown out hotel sounds. 

The Von Franken Family Food Run: This race is held every Thanksgiving morning. All the food donated by the participants goes to the Salvation Army, and every runner wins. It’s all for fun and a great cause. No clock, no time, no losers, all fun.

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