Jogger killed in Albemarle County was The Running Man

country roadA jogger known locally as The Running Man was killed in an accident on Ivy Road in Albemarle County early Tuesday.

Phillip Weber III, 55, was killed after being hit by an SUV around 7 a.m., according to Albemarle County Police.

Weber had run more than 125,000 miles in his lifetime, putting in an otherworldly 5,000-plus miles per year.

He was known to casually complete marathon training runs in and around Charlottesville and Albemarle County as he put in his 90-plus miles per week, rain, snow, sleet and shine.

I can help put these numbers in perspective. Ninety miles a week is a half-marathon every day. Which is unfathomable even to the most diehard of runners.

I ran my first marathon in November, in Richmond, and my training for the year had me running 40-plus miles a week through the spring, summer and into the fall, and I’m just short of 1,600 miles for the year.

Three times that total is absolutely bonkers.

What’s not bonkers is what else Weber was known for – no matter what time of year it was, he sported short, short running shorts, and went shirtless.

For those who don’t regularly run long distances, you get hot about a half-mile in, yes, even in the dead of winter.

A story on the NBC29 website noted that Weber lived along and wasn’t close with anyone, but considered all the people who would wave as he ran by to be his friends.

I can identify there, too. I regularly run the South River Greenway in Waynesboro, and see scores of people on a regular basis who wave, smile, ask how I’m doing, and recently inquired into my health after I went down with a groin injury that has hobbled me since the Richmond Marathon.

That’s a good reason to run the Greenway. Another is the lack of danger on what is essentially a closed track.

I used to run the streets of Waynesboro, and though I never had any really close calls, I felt like intermingling with vehicular traffic was probably not the best for my long-term health.

I hate hearing that someone who so obviously loved running so much was struck down doing something that he so absolutely loved.

– Story by Chris Graham


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