Athletic Shorts: Jim ‘Animal’ Schroeder

In just a few weeks I get the honor of being part of the crew that will support Jim Schroeder, or Animal as he’s often referred, as he completes his first Badwater 135. Badwater is one of ultra-running’s most difficult courses, pitting the participants against

Lynsey and Jim post-coffee and pre-100 for the Keys100 in May 2014.

Lynsey and Jim post-coffee and pre-100 for the Keys100 in May 2014.

California’s extreme terrain and weather as well as themselves. The 2014 course contains a grueling 19,000 feet of elevation gain, and two ascents into the Sierra Nevada.

I’ve had the pleasure of watching him perform at just about every formal and informal trail and road running event in Florida. I thought you guys might like to learn a little about this spectacular runner and the journey that brought him to Badwater.

To hear him tell it, earning the moniker ‘Animal’ was mere happenstance; the nickname simply stuck after a running buddy created a giant birthday card wherein a picture of his face was transposed onto the body of Animal the Muppet. But to most of his running associates Jim’s moniker is a reminder of his persistence and unwavering spirit on and off of the road. No exaggeration.

Animal is the primitive man and crazed drummer of Dr. Teeth and The Electric Mayhem, the fictional band from The Muppet Show.  Jim is the extraordinary man and crazed runner of FUR, the nonficitional online running community Florida Ultra Runners. The resemblance is uncanny.

Animal is the primitive man and crazed drummer of Dr. Teeth and The Electric Mayhem, the fictional band from The Muppet Show.
Jim is the extraordinary man and crazed runner of FUR, the non-fictional online running community Florida Ultra Runners.
The resemblance is uncanny.

Off the road, Jim completed three deployments to the Vietnam War zone while serving within the US Navy then went on to earn a PhD in Electrical Engineering. He’s successfully held positions within several large defense contractors and currently works as a Research Professor at Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne, FL.

Jim says that running has always played a big part in his life. “I grew up running: Running to the sand box; running to the back yard; running to the pine grove; running to the neighbors; running to pick wild raspberries; running after my siblings; running from angry buzzing wasps; running for cover from severe electrical storms; running in heat, humidity and frosty cold and snow; running for pure simple joy; running everywhere and anywhere.”

On the road, Jim enjoyed success in shorter distances and could boast a 20 minute 5k. But a sudden injury in June 2000 sidelined him. He chronicled the agony and ecstasy he

pictured left to right: Jim, Kayte, Luis, Lynsey Group crew photo at mile 90 of the 2014 Keys100.  Jim achieved a personal best of 28:39:03 earning him an age-group award.

pictured left to right: Jim, Kayte, Luis, Lynsey
Group crew photo at mile 90 of the 2014 Keys100. Jim achieved a personal best of 28:39:03 earning him an age-group award.

experienced that accompanied that experience in Zen Track Rambling. During his return to the road he found that although he could no longer run competitively he could maintain a slow pace infinitely.

An ultra-marathoner was born.

Having since completed over 110 cumulative marathons and ultra-marathons it becomes easy to see that there is no stopping him.

Jim Schroeder is definitely an animal: focused, determined, smart. I look forward to unleashing him upon Badwater in a month.

Advertisements

About Lynsey

When Lynsey became injured in 2011 she changed her focus from running long-distance to working behind the scenes as volunteer and crew chief. You can find me at various aid stations throughout Florida reminding the runners that "this is not a parking lot."
This entry was posted in Athletic Shorts, General and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s