If Brendan Vasher weren’t such an accomplished runner, he’d like to become a serious golfer.
“I just have so much respect for successful golfers’ amazing eye-hand coordination, quest for excellence and poise under pressure,” he said.
Fortunately for local golfers, Vasher, 53, hasn’t shown any signs of slowing down or looking for a full-time caddy.
The retired soldier recently won the Male Masters Division of the 2013 Enmark Savannah Bridge Run 5K, placing 13th overall out of some 3,900 runners in what many consider one of the South’s toughest races.
Vasher, who turned in a time of 19 minutes and 17 seconds, is no stranger to success at the Bridge Run. He won the event’s overall title in 2004 with a time of 17:44 – his most satisfying win, he said – and took the Masters Division and placed sixth overall in that same event in 2001 while competing against distance legends such as Samuel Manguso and Anson Clapcott. He’s also unbeaten in his age group this year.
Not bad for a guy who didn’t take up running until he joined the Army in 1986.
And once Vasher started running, he was hard to stop. He ran on three Fort Stewart/Hunter Army Air Field 10-miler teams. He was part of the All-Army team in 1998 and competed in the Armed Forces Marathon, represented the United States in 2002 in the World Military Championships in Bern, Switzerland, during which he ran his best-ever marathon time of 2 hours and 52 minutes and did it, as he put it, “at the ripe old age of 42.”
In all, Vasher has run eight marathons, six of which he’s finished in under 3 hours. But after winning the 2004 Enmark Bridge Run, Vasher retired from running and didn’t race again until he began competing again in April. Through 10 races this season, Vasher is unbeaten in his age group and hopes to defend his Masters win in 2014, “if my knees permit.”
Read full story in Dec. 21 issue of Bryan County News