It Started With an Arrow in the Road

Jan Spalding At the Races, Uncategorized 0 Comments

 “It’s the first of the new season, as he calls it. Running through the Notre Dame campus is his favorite thing and finishing on the football field is the highlight of the event.”

Sondra Cymanski, daughter of Lawrence Scholl


As for sunburst 2019, it’s going to be the 10K for Goshen-native Lawrence Scholl. This might be his 199th or maybe his 201st race — he doesn’t keep track specifically – but then again, he could go count up all the medals and trophies he proudly displays, categorized by year and race. The roster includes about 32 half and full marathons, and scores of 5Ks and 10Ks. Toss in one 31-mile Ultra and you’ll count to about 200 in all.

Lawrence has been running since he was 40 – but that was 45 years ago. At 86, Lawrence plans to cross the finish line of one of his favorite local events, Sunburst, with his per-usual goal: finish and beat his personal best time. “It’s the first of the new season, as he calls it,” said his daughter Sondra Cymanski. “Running through the Notre Dame campus is his favorite thing and finishing on the football field is the highlight of the event.”

Forty 45 years ago, Lawrence was curious when he saw a man painting an arrow on the corner of CR 17 and 26 in Goshen, right where the Scholl’s lived. “We’re having a road race,” the man said. “The runners are turning here.” Without hesitation, Lawrence decided he would host a water stop, setting up a card table and getting the garden hose ready. “He stood out there and asked the runners all sorts of questions,” Sondra said. It turned out to be The Great Race, a once-favorite half- marathon tradition in Elkhart.

“Shoot, I can do that,” Lawrence thought.

He began running to the mailbox and back. Then built up to around the block (which was five miles.) “When I was learning to drive, I would follow behind him in the truck for his long runs.” He began chalking up the events—the Indy Mini, Pumpkin Vine, Elkhart County Fair, the Syracuse Flotilla to name just a few of his local favorites. “He always talked about running Sunburst, and finally added that a few years ago.”

Sondra and her mom always traveled with Lawrence, “We were his pit crew . . . then we would go shopping while waiting for Dad to finish.”

Lawrence trains Mondays and Wednesdays, outside when the weather is nice, inside at the Goshen College athletic center when necessary. “This year, Dad told us he was going to slow down and just do the 10K at Sunburst. He’s 86, but says he is living to 150 – and so we shouldn’t count on his inheritance!”

It took about 40 years, but the bug finally bit Sondra, who, with her husband, Brian, are signed up to run the 10K this year. “We lived in San Francisco and walked all the time, so it felt natural to start training. Turns out, we too love the challenge and ‘collecting’ the finisher medals.”

Keep an eye out for the Scholl family this year, with Lawrence pacing at about 19 minutes per mile. “We are looking forward to joining Dad at this year’s race and continuing this new tradition for our family.”




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