Five questions for the 'Rock Runner'

By Beth A. Birmingham | Apr 13, 2014
Photo by: Beth A. Birmingham Mike Clark enjoys a jog along Commercial Street in Rockland in the sunny 36-degree temperatures April 4 armed with his 3-pound rocks.

No doubt most people in the Rockland area have seen a particular runner and the question "why?" comes to mind.

He wears only shorts, shoes and socks — even in the dead of winter. Even more intriguing is what he carries in each hand — a 3-pound rock.

The 65-year-old was told he would have to give up running after having knee replacement surgery in 2009. So now he "just jogs to keep the weight off," he said.

After finishing his workout April 4 in 36-degree sunshine, Mike Clark took a few minutes to answer these five questions:

How do you stay warm?

"It's the difference in body temperature. Even in the summer when I get up at 5 a.m. to run it's still too hot for me."

What is up with the rocks?

"Years ago I bought weighted gloves to help improve my time. They have since rotted because of sweat. In 1980 I found two rocks, approximately 3 pounds each during a visit to Situate, Mass. They have worn much better than my body."

When did you start running?

"When I was 12."

How many miles do you run?

"Four to six miles."

Do you have a favorite route?

"I usually loop my neighborhood and go through town along the water. I love the scenery along Front Street."

If you know someone for Five Questions, email Beth A Birmingham at

Comments (6)
Posted by: John J Gazzola | Apr 23, 2014 07:56

Mike is an acquaintance of mine since I meet him often on my walks around downtown Rockland.  He not only had a "knee problem" but, after much medical exams, was found to be a victim of having Lyme disease. It took him a couple years to improve.

I love "the guy".....he's a person to emulate.....God bless him.....

Posted by: Rick Ash | Apr 14, 2014 16:06

Go Mike!!

Posted by: Toni Vander Veer | Apr 14, 2014 08:58

Mike also plays tennis at least 5 days a week. He is an inspiration to all!

Posted by: Susan P Reitman | Apr 14, 2014 08:03

I moved to Rockland, Maine in 2006 and see this man running and I always wondered how the man could run in the cold weather dressed the way he does and what his story is; I always admired Mr. Clark and was in wonder each time I saw him.  Now thanks to Beth Birmingham I know his story and know his name.  I had two total knee replacements in 2013; I go to Continuum Physical Therapy to their Aftercare Program 5 days a week where it is WARM!!!!  All I can say is keep up the good work Mr. Clark you are an inspiration.

Posted by: Steven D Bryant | Apr 13, 2014 13:17

Great guy. Did you ask the significance of the rocks? I was told a very heartwarming story.

Posted by: Richard McKusic, Sr. | Apr 13, 2014 13:10

Mr. Clark has greyed a bit since coming to mid-coast Maine. Glad to see that he has liked it, is still here and recovered from his knee surgery. Great article, Beth

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