At 55 years old, Westerville City School District Superintendent John Kellogg is set to participate in his 10th marathon Monday, April 16, by running in his fourth Boston Marathon.
"I've been running since 1974," he said. "I ran in middle school and through high school. I ran competitively in college at the College of William & Mary."
After he married his wife, Kim, at the age of 28, their daughter, Erin, arrived two years later and then their son, Ian, two years after that.
Even with family responsibilities, running remained a keen interest.
"Over the years, I've stayed close to it," he said. "Over the last seven or eight years, I've gotten back into it. The kids are more independent."
He ran one marathon in 1989 but didn't run another until 2010 in Columbus.
"This is my ninth since 2010," Kellogg said. "It's a way to deal with stress. It's also a personal challenge.
"And then, there's a satisfaction when you get your run in that day. If nothing else goes well, I've accomplished that," he said.
During the weeks when he's focused on a race like a marathon or half marathon, Kellogg runs five or six days in a week.
"Most days, I'm doing six to eight miles," he said. "Within that, one day is a speed workout. Saturdays are my typical long-run day."
Kellogg sometimes runs with the Columbus Running Company on Saturdays.
"They do a nice job putting people together," he said. "Other than that, I am pretty much solo. Some days it's 5:30 a.m. and others days 5:30 p.m., depending on my work schedule."
Kellogg said he had to hang up his running shoes as a result of a torn meniscus last fall.
"After Thanksgiving, I had surgery on my knee," he said. "I got cleared again, since early January, and feel good going into it."
He qualified for this year's Boston from his time in the 2017 Boston Marathon, which was three hours and 16 minutes.
Kellogg said his training indicates he could finish this year's race between three hours and five minutes to three hours and 15 minutes.
Kellogg said his first marathon was the Rocket City Marathon in Huntsville, Alabama.
In addition to running the Boston Marathon three times, he has run twice in the New York City Marathon, twice in the Columbus Marathon and once in the Glass City Marathon in Toledo.
Kellogg said he doesn't run with a headset to listen to music.
"For one, it's dangerous," he said. "My mind goes in other places; sometimes it's whatever is going on at work. It's amazing how much you can process in a long run."
He said he uses his time running to work out things he's stuck on or unsure of.
"There are things I pull apart and decipher," Kellogg said. "There are no other distractions. With the physical exertion, your mind is freer to deal with that.
"There are no phones, text messages. Whatever that thing is that's really the stressor comes to the forefront. It tends to be productive for me," he said.
Kellogg can often be seen running along Westerville's bicycle paths for his workout.
He resides half a mile from the bicycle path near County Line Road.
Although Kellogg said he doesn't have any luck charms or traditions before a race, he consistently has stuck with the same brand and style of running shoe, the Nike Pegasus.
"I rely on using data and information from training," he said. "You do workouts according to your fitness level."
He appreciates his family's support.
"My wife is a junkie of the sport," Kellogg said. "My wife and daughter enjoy running for the sake of fitness."
His son also shares his passion for the sport.
A student at Otterbein University, Ian Kellogg runs competitively for the school.
"He's definitely an inspiration to me, not just in terms of running but in terms of everything else he does, too." Ian Kellogg said about his dad. "With his running career, I've learned a lot about perseverance and sticking with it when it gets hard."
He said his dad has a great attitude in getting out the door.
"I've definitely used that and relied on that as some sort of motivation for my running as well," Ian Kellogg said. "He's definitely a good person to look up to."
John Kellogg said there have been a lot of people throughout his running career who have been inspirational.
"My son, Ian, is one and coaches I've had and the friends I've had over time," he said.
"One of my closest friends I ran with in high school (is another). We're almost as brothers. Lots of things he does in the world, I've admired. I wouldn't have met him if I hadn't established a relationship through running," he said.
Kellogg said he attended a track reunion a few weeks ago, celebrating the 90th birthday of a college coach.
"Some of the people I still have relationships with," he said. "To spend time together and hearing about their success is inspirational. If I hadn't met them and shared the road – I think that's what I enjoy the most. You have interesting moments."
Kellogg said one of his beliefs, whether it applies to work, life or this endeavor, is to make goals public as a means of accountability.
"In that vein, often with running, I'll be honest about what I'm trying to do," he said. "In the struggle, you think about disappointing people. There are people rooting for you, and you don't want to disappoint them."
Kellogg said community members have followed his previous races.
Anyone interested in following his progress can go to the Boston Athletic Association website, baa.org, and enter his information, including bib number 10044.
Kellogg will start with the second wave of runners who begin the race at 10:30 a.m.
"People have been supportive of the endeavor and I appreciate it," he said.
In addition to running a marathon in Chicago with a high school friend this fall, Kellogg is contemplating tackling the World Marathon Majors. That endeavor requires the completion of the Tokyo Marathon in Japan, Boston Marathon, London Marathon in England, Berlin Marathon in Germany, Chicago Marathon and New York City Marathon.
"In the back of my head, that would be cool to accomplish," he said.