Most mornings, Curt Liner likes to hit the ground running. For the landscape specialist at Broward College, that means a two-hour jaunt from his home in Davie through the streets that loop in and around A. Hugh Adams Central Campus before he heads to work.

“It’s a form of relaxation,” said Liner. “It’s nice and quiet. I can listen to the birds, see the sun come up.”

Curt LinerLiner figures his 5’oclock in the morning therapy involves running more than 2,000 miles a year, and at least 16 million steps in the past decade. The regiment has made him one of the top distance runners at his age in South Florida. In August, Liner will turn 60, and his colleagues at Broward College who are accustomed to honking their horns and waving when they see him running along College Avenue or Nova Drive, don’t believe he’s about to slow down anytime soon.

He has no reason to. Consider that Liner consistently posts times below most any runner his age. In March, as a member of the Broward College team, he finished 44th overall out of more than 26,000 competitors and first in the 55-59 age group at the Mercedes-Benz Corporate Run through the streets of Fort Lauderdale. With just enough time to catch his breath, he finished first overall out of all 300 participants two days later at the Healthy Broward Run, in Delevoe Park.

“I always want to be the fastest, oldest guy out there,” said Liner with a grin. “I’m at a special time in my life because I can’t lose. Who is going to say they beat a 60-year-old. They’d get laughed at.”

Liner wasn’t kidding around either, when he took up running almost 20 years ago after a co-worker at Broward College dared him to participate in a local 5K at Nova Southeastern University. Right out of the gate, Liner did well enough to want to run more. He also started asking questions of other runners and read whatever he could about training. In less than three years after his first race, he had knocked six minutes off his time in the 5K.

Down to a Science

These days, training has grown into a science of sorts for him. Liner can predict within seconds the time he will finish in any given race. His numbers have added up to a spot on the Runners Depot racing team.

“I’m a numbers guy, and I like to see my results from training,” said Liner, who graduated from Broward College in 1981 with an associate degree in landscape technology. “If I wanted to become a good runner, I had to become a student of the game.”

Like a student studying to pass an exam, Liner says if he puts in the work, there is hardly a reason he should not run the race he expects. And that’s somewhere near 18 minutes and a few seconds for 3.11 miles, or 12 ½ laps around a track.

Community Connections

Liner said he has won four races outright and the firsts and seconds in his age group are too many to count. He does fondly remember handily defeating a group of Broward College Physical Education students, who challenged him one day while he was working out at one of the fitness centers on campus.

Beyond the competition, Liner enjoys the camaraderie that comes with physical exercise. Prior to his running exploits, Liner kept active, connecting to both students and employees as a participant in the “flag football” and “ultimate frisbee” intramural programs offered on campus. Now, he’s still running around, but with a purpose.

“All these races I run in are for charities – for zero prostate, for cancer,” he said. “And most people who run in these races care. They are good people in the community.”

Already this year, Liner has run in 16 races. His next stop may be in a 10K in June in Ashville, N.C. He will be on vacation, then.

“You have to be a little obsessive-compulsive,” he said. “I’ll either run in a race or train. Wind, rain, I don’t stop. I still feel young for my age.”

If you are looking to build up a sweat, Broward College is the Color Run — often referred to as the “Happiest 5K on the Planet” — Saturday, May 18, beginning at 7:30 a.m., in Huizenga Park at 32 E. Las Olas Boulevard, in Fort Lauderdale. For more information on this unique paint race that celebrates healthiness, happiness and individuality, contact cparra@broward.edu

If you’re interested in a fitness career, check out Physical Education courses at Broward College.