Staff Spotlight - Mark Looney

A retired engineer and accomplished lifelong runner hailing from Buffalo, NY, Mark Looney is the guy you want to sit next to at a party. He has a story for everything, a vigor for life that's undeniably contagious, and an insatiable hunger for knowledge and growth, regardless of age. That, coupled with running wisdom and love for the sport that only comes with years and years of pounding the pavement, Mark is our resident fountain of youth and running inspiration.
  • How long have you been running? You really want to know? It all started with high school XC in 1978 to lose weight for the wrestling team, so about 45 years.
  • Road or trail? I'm more of a road racer but I enjoy training on the trails.
  • Favorite running "highlights"? Back-to-back wins at the Buffalo Marathon,’98-99.  A recent 19th place finish at the 2023 Pittsburgh Senior Nationals 5K. 26 marathons.
  • Favorite hobbies (besides running)? Bike touring and journaling my adventures. I have one book published - A Path Through Ohio - and five more in the works.
  • Favorite running foods? During long runs - Maurten Gel 40g. Post-race - spaghetti and sausage.
  • Favorite shoes? I'm a Saucony guy. I've worn Kinvaras forever, but right now, my favorite is the Triumph.
  • Favorite running gear? BOA running shorts, Salomon Bonatti waterproof jacket, tank tops (warm weather), and  Rabbit Long Sleeve EZ Tee (cold weather).
  • Favorite local (Black Mountain) running route?  Start at The White Horse -  Run up Montreat Rd. through the Montreat Gate - Pick up Elizabeth's Path - Run around Lake Susan - Return via Flat Creek Rd.
  • Advice for beginning runners? Keep it fun. Runs should start easy, move to smooth, then move to hard(er) if you are feeling it.

Mark just placed 2nd at the 2023 North Carolina State Senior Games in the 1500m race last week (!), and he has a number of local races on his calendar coming up soon. Come visit Mark at our Black Mountain location to talk shoes and swap running tales!

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