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King Fred: Still Blazing Trails At 85

Known as a man who chases his goals, Sylvania’s Fred King has over 100 running races under his belt. The most recent race came as a total surprise to him. “My face must have lit up!” Fred recalls.

Fred’s nursing team and family collaborated with Run Toledo and Dave’s Performance Footgear to enter Fred into the Miracle on Main street 5k, held in downtown Sylvania, last December. Fred, at 85, was the event’s guest of honor, tasked with being the starter for the race— “I got to blow the air horn!” Fred recalls.

But with Fred snugly bundled up, nurses and family members walked with him along the 5k course, greeted enthusiastically by the crowd along the way. As spectators waved and cheered their encouragement, Fred, his eyes sparkling, was “excited to be in the mix,” calling the experience the “highlight of my year.” At the end of the race, Fred received awards and a crown and was named ‘King of the 5k’.

Running, a life long love

Fred discovered his passion for running in high school. As a part of a physical education class, Fred ran the 100-yard dash. He did so well that the coach approached him and asked if he would like to join the track team.

Later in life, Fred took up competitive running as a way to spend time with his daughter, Diane. He did not begin running races until after he was 50 years old, but now has competed in over 100 races, evidenced by many plaques, trophies and awards.

Fred, for many years, has been a member of the Toledo Road Runners, a close-knit group of runners that encourages and challenges each other. These days, Fred spends his time with family and friends. He enjoys playing bingo, attending social gatherings and listening to live music.

“I even have a little beer sometimes. I share one bottle with two friends,” he said, eyes twinkling with good-humored mischief.

Sylvania’s Fred King

Q & A With Fred King

I have always wanted to… Jog over the Mackinac Bridge. I did walk across it with my son.
What do you admire in people? A nice smile.
What was your first job? Working as a laborer for Sun Oil.
Your proudest accomplishment? Raising three successful children.
What is your pet peeve? When people say “I’ll be right with you”.
What is something that most people don’t know about you? I have a letter signed by Judge Judy at home.
What are the words you live by? Loving, kindness, helpful, honest, sharing.
What advice would you give to the younger you? Go to church and be more active.
Favorite movie? The original Star Wars. When it first came out it was revolutionary.

Bonus Facts:

Who do you most admire? My parents.
What’s your favorite food? Steak.
Favorite author? Janet Evanovich.

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