“Ultra-fit at Sixty,” Ensign, Jan. 1991, 70
For some people, running a 26-mile marathon just isn’t enough of a challenge. Sixty-year-old Dick Rozier, a high priest in the Fresno Eighth Ward, Fresno California Stake, is such a man. Brother Rozier knows something about enduring to the end. “Enduring to the end,” in this case, means running for more than one hundred miles within a 24-hour period.
Brother Rozier, a veteran marathon runner with twelve Boston Marathons behind him, is a proven ultra-distance runner. Most races have a set distance over which runners try to make the best time. In this particular type of ultra-run, however, the contestants run as far as they can in twenty-four hours. On November 18 and 19, 1989, Dick set a U.S. record for endurance running in his age group when he won the Sri Chinmoy 24-Hour Race, covering 139 miles and 400 yards.
The record Dick Rozier broke was 134 miles and 194 yards, held by a Frenchman. The former American record was 131 miles, 440 yards.
“It was a weird experience,” says Brother Rozier of the record run. “I didn’t think I could do it, but I just kept going and going.” The run began at 8:00 A.M., and by midnight, sixteen hours into the event, he had covered one hundred miles. His only trouble came after nineteen hours into the event, when leg cramping forced him to take a ten-minute break for a massage. At twenty-three hours into the run, Dick broke the record and ran four more miles to complete the twenty-fourth hour.
A father of eight and a grandfather of fifteen, Brother Rozier is “in better shape than most of us,” declares his son Richard. “Mom and Dad are both great examples of endurance and determination.” Dick serves as the activities committee chairman for the Fresno Twenty-fourth (Laotian) Branch, where his wife, Gaynor, serves as Relief Society president.