AUSTIN - The Capitol 10K Run, one of the largest races in the nation is one week from Sunday. It’s a race thousands train for every year, including one 82-year-old Central Texan, who hasn't missed a race since 1978.
"40 years, I never thought when I started that I was going do it, but I did say it back in 1993 that I was going run 50 of them,” Art DeValle said.
DeValle says his passion began when he was working as an accountant, being stuck at a desk all day. He wanted to get active.
“I would play tennis but you needed someone to play with, but you don’t need anyone to run with you - can go run by yourself,” he said. “I’ve run hundreds of races since then.”
Three times a week, DeValle is seen running through the streets of his Pointe Venture neighborhood, building himself up to the big milestone.
"I may get first place when I'm 85 when I get to the next age group. I may have a chance,” DeValle said.
But the 82-year-old has made the top 10 each year, he placed 3rd recently and 1st years before that.
Judging by his energy, it would be difficult to know that he had back surgery six months ago, or that he's a cancer survivor. Neither of those things bothers him, except how he can no longer run the 6.2-mile race in 40 minutes.
"Now, I would do good in an hour and a half!” he said.
In the last four decades, the avid runner never lost sight of his goal. DeValle's spirit and dedication for the sport are what drive him back year after year.
"I know you need to do that. I know you need to keep moving. Once you stop moving, stop doing things -- you just waste away,” DeValle said.
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