Collected wisdom: Maurice Lee III

President of the Landrunners Oklahoma City Running Club has complete 29 marathons.
by Jenni Carlson Published: February 1, 2014
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Ultramarathoner and President of the Landrunners Oklahoma City Running Club

Age: 60

Residence: Boley and Oklahoma City

Maurice Lee III is the third-generation owner of Smokaroma, Inc., producer of pressure-cooking smokers. It is the largest private employer in Boley, a historically black town about 70 miles east of Oklahoma City; the John H. Lilley Correctional Center is the largest.

He knows all about running a business. But running?

A decade or so ago, running a mile — much less a hundred of them — wasn't something Lee did. But an expanding waistline and a treadmill gathering dust motivated him to start running.

He became addicted.

Lee has completed 29 marathons and 16 ultramarathons, including two hundred-milers. He set a personal best marathon time last October on the same day that he turned 60.

Fifty is a little late for a midlife crisis, but I hit 50, and I started gaining a little weight. I started getting a spare tire. My wife had bought a treadmill. She started putting clothes on it, but I started running on the treadmill.

I decided to do a little 5K in Prague. I thought I could sneak down there and run a little race and nobody would know it. Well, I won the masters division. I didn't even know what that meant.

That kind of got me hooked.

I eventually got to where most runners get — I wanted to run a marathon. I'd run 5Ks, 10Ks, half marathons and finally decided I wanted to run a marathon.

Eventually, the marathon wasn't enough and I started running ultramarathons. I decided I wanted to run Comrades, which is an ultramarathon in South Africa. So, now I'm sort of on a quest to run ultramarathons on other continents. I ran what's called G2E. It's Glasgow to Edinburgh in Scotland. I'm probably going to run Australia this year. Then, I'm looking at Asia. I haven't found one there.

The hard one's gonna be Antarctica. It's the most expensive one. It costs about $10,000, so it'll be last if I do it.


by Jenni Carlson
Columnist
Jenni Carlson, a sports columnist at The Oklahoman since 1999, came by her love of sports honestly. She grew up in a sports-loving family in Kansas. Her dad coached baseball and did color commentary on the radio for the high school football...
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Ready to run?

The Landrunners Oklahoma City Running Club will have free training runs every weekend from now until the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon, weather permitting. The next run will be at 7 a.m. on Feb. 9; the meeting place has yet to be announced.

For more information about this and other training opportunities, go to www.okcrunning.org or email training@okcrunning.org.

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