My life in race shirts: ORRC 9.5 In ’95

Joe Dudman started running road races as a sophomore in high school, circa 1980. Since that time he has accumulated over 540 race T-shirts (Yes, he finally got around to counting them!) Some of them evoke special memories and (hopefully) interesting stories. In this recurring series, he recounts some of them for Run Oregon readers.

Joe's shirt from the Oregon Road Runners Club's "9.5 In '95" New Year's race.

Joe’s shirt from the Oregon Road Runners Club’s “9.5 In ’95” New Year’s race.

In the fall of 1994 I came down with a case of endocarditis (an infection of the lining of the heart). I was in the hospital for about a week, and I had to wear a portable antibiotics pump with a catheter leading directly to my heart for another week or so after that. When I got through that and was given the all clear, I decided to get the most I could out of my running abilities.

The Oregon Road Runners Club was celebrating their 25th anniversary in 1995, and if you accumulated 25 points by finishing some of their races during the year, you would win a prize. So I made it my goal to run all of the ORRC races that year. At the ORRC awards banquet, I was surprised to not only earn the 25th anniversary award, but an age group championship as well, and I was back into running big time from then on!

The first ORRC race of that year was this one: The 9.5 in ’95 in Forest Grove. 9.5 miles was a long way for me back then (in fact, it still is!) But this race marked the beginning of over a decade of healthy, uninjured racing, and led to some times and results that I wouldn’t have guessed I was capable of back in the early 1990s.