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RRCA Masters Runner of the Year Spotlight
By Joe Scalzo
As a student at Farrell High School in the mid-1960s, Terry McCluskey ran track because he wanted something to do, not something to be.
“I was decent but it wasn’t like I had any training goal or wanted to get to any national level,” said McCluskey, who graduated in 1966 before attending Slippery Rock. “It wasn’t anything I thought about.”
Then, at age 33, he started running again to get fit.
“After that, it just snowballed,” said McCluskey, who has lived in Vienna since 1976. “I just finally found out I had a runner’s body. I was built to be a runner.”
He was also built to stay a runner. Now 62, McCluskey was named the Masters Division male runner of the year by the Road Runners Club of America. The organization gives out just four running awards each year, honoring the top male and female open division runners (age 40 and under) and top male and female masters runners (41-above). The RRCA considers both performance and community involvement.
“Yeah, it’s a big deal,” McCluskey said, slightly embarrassed. “There’s a lot of good runners across the country and it’s something I didn’t expect. I was really surprised. I was just happy to be nominated. I really thought that was the end of it.”
McCluskey had arguably the best year of his career in 2011, beginning the season with an age group victory at the Cherry Blossom 10-mile run in Washington D.C.