Walt Gronski

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  • January 12, 2024
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Everyone believes that you have to get your kids involved in athletics at a young age in order to be competitive. Some start as early as 4 and 5 years of age. Walt Gronski can show you that it is never too late to begin your athletic career. Walt didn’t start running until the age of 46 in 1978 and has logged over 73,000 miles training and competing in various races. Sine he began, Walt has run in over 40 marathons – the 26 mile variety – including the world-famous Boston Marathon 15 times. His best time was 3 hours 3 minutes at the age of 56. He finished in the top 4 on 9 different occasions in his 40 marathons.

He has not limited his time to marathons as he has run the Nickel City 50 miler in Buffalo, NY winning his age group in 7 hours and 57 minutes in 1983. He would win the USA track and field championship in his age group on 1984, also at the Nickel City.

Walt also ran in the Strong Children’s Hospital 150k in 1984 at the University of Rochester and was awarded first place after completing 121k and all other runners had dropped out die to heat exhaustion. He had no incentive to continue with no competition and temperatures over 100 degrees and 87% humidity. Walt did win the Strong Children’s Hospital 24 hour run in 1995, completing 104 miles and finishing first over all age groups. He also won USA track and Field Championship 24 hour run, completing 94 miles and winning his age group in 1997. He also established a US age group record of 4 hours 37 minutes in a 50k in Rochester, NY in 1994. Walt is currently the US age group record holder in the 100k, 100 mi and 24 hr run.

Earlier in his career, Walt completed 3 races in 24 hours – winning the 5 mile Bloomfield Run on May 22, 1982 at 8am, taking first in the Williamson 10k in May 22 at 6om and finishing 2nd place in the Human 10k race on May 23, 1982. Gronski also helped to establish a new record in the Run Across America relay from San Francisco to Coney Island in 16 days.

Prior to his running days, Walt Bench Pressed 400 pounds and squatted 620 pounds at the age of 24 in the 181 lb class. He recently established the Florida Senior games bench press record in the 165 lb class.

Following graduation from Mount Carmel High School in 1949, Walt was an army medical technologist and Korean War veteran with 3 battle stars. He graduated from Ft Sam Houston Medical center and Air Force clinical Laboratory school and spent 37 years at the Genesee Hospital Clinical Labs in Rochester, NY, including 23 as the clinical chemistry supervisor. He and his wife Linda are parents to 3 sons, Robert, John, and Paul, and currently makes his home in Florida.

Categories: 2015 Hall of Fame