Meet the 77-year-old Milford man who is the No. 1 runner in his age group in the world

Posted at 6:48 AM, Sep 27, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-27 06:48:23-04

MILFORD, Mich. (WXYZ) — He’s 77 years old, but don’t sleep on Milford’s Doug Goodhue if you come across him at the track.

Nicknamed the “Silver Bullet,” you may think the moniker is a joke. That is, until you see him fly. Goodhue will be the first to say that he was faster, once. That doesn’t change the fact that he’s still running long-distance races and keeping his miles below 7 minutes.

“Oh, I’m enjoying every minutes of it,” said Goodhue, with a chuckle comparing where he’s at to where he came from.

In his early years he enjoyed running, he was a big enough fan that he watched Steve PreFontaine run in the 70s — a famous name in running circle that created a boom, and in part, Nike’s brand dominance.

Goodhue, however, wasn’t always a runner. He got married, had a big family and a long career. It was in the early 80s when he was 41 years old that he decided to take up running, really as a way to drop a few pounds.

“I ran that race and it almost killed me,” he said of the 1983 Detroit Free Press Marathon.

He stuck with it, and quickly realized he had a knack for it. Coming from a competitive family, he couldn’t give up. That meant more running, and more races. Eventually he became a mainstay at the Ann Arbor Running Club, a group he still runs with to this day. Now he’s a world-champion, the number one runner in the USA Track and Field Masters Grand Prix series.

What does he credit with his success? Good genes, a competitive spirit and focus. He’s not above a burger and a beer after a run, but he said moderation counts.

“I do make sure that when I’m running, and running on my more serious days, I put a serious effort into it and remind myself this is why I do it. I want to compete and be where I’m at, which right now is number one in my age group.”

As for training, Goodhue told 7 Action News that he does a speed workout on a track once a week — that’s typically with the 501 Running Club, which he founded with his friend Susie Stock more than a decade ago. In the winter, he’ll move his training indoors — but he doesn’t stick to interval training, alone. He’ll do longer runs once a week too. For instance, he’ll run 45-50 miles this week as he prepares for the masters cross-country championships in mid-October. That includes a 12-14 mile run on the weekend.

“He doesn’t slow down,” said Jim Cremering, a fellow running club member.

“Doug is a phenomenon,” said Stock. “77 years old and as competitive as ever. He encourages and inspires all of us out here, we can’t use age as a reason we can’t be running.”