Kloppel approaches fourth time around globe

Principal Dick Kloppel may not be a world traveler, but as an avid runner he has logged enough miles to get him around the globe not once, but three times. Nearing 83,000 miles, running has turned into a habit for him.
“There are a lot of days that I do not want to get up and run,” Kloppel said. Yet, he arises at 4:30 a.m, four or five days a week, straps on his shoes and hits the path to a healthier lifestyle.
After 40 years of running, Kloppel knows a thing or two about what makes a good athlete. He describes an athlete as not only someone who enjoys the physical activity, but possesses the body tolerance for it. Physical activity has to be an instinct to an individual, he pointed out, as well as a habit.
“I have been really, really fortunate,” Kloppel said. Any injuries he has received have been minimal, such as a pulled hamstring. He has also had minimal back problems, and a pair of bad ankles. Running is not completely to blame for all of his injuries, however. Kloppel said he has been involved in both a horse and a motorcycle accident.
Kloppel took an interest in running 39 years ago, in 1975, when he was teaching math at Great Falls High. A group of teachers invited him along one afternoon, and after that, running just became a habit, he said. Now he refers to himself as a “solo runner.” Running alone allows him the time he needs to think about everything, he said.
Although he was extremely active in high school, Fairfield did not have a cross country team. He did, however, occupy his time with basketball and other activities, such as track. Kloppel said he was a sprinter and a thrower. Now he runs 35-40 minutes a day during the week, and a minimum of one hour on the weekend.