70-year-old cancer survivor keeps on running
For 30 years, Richard Sutton’s life has revolved around running.When he was 40 years old, he weighed in at 250 pounds, and with a history of heart problems in his family, Sutton started running. Since then, nothing seems to be able to slow him down.When he found out he had cancer, he kept running. When a doctor told him he only had three days to live, he kept running. After he battled through radiation treatment, he kept running. And now, cancer free and 70 years old, he’s still running. On Saturday, the Eagle resident, who works as a golf starter at Eagle Ranch Golf Course, headed west to race in the Glenwood Canyon Shuffle. Not only did Sutter run in the 5K, he finished fifth overall with a time of 22:28. Running in the race was nothing unusual for Sutton, but finishing as high as he did surprised him a bit. “By the time when I was halfway in, there certainly had to be 20 or more people ahead of me,” he said. “I stayed just about were I was and here I am.”At the time when Sutton turned to running in his life, his day job was in criminal justice. As a member of the parole board, Sutton traveled around the state to review parole cases. Deciding who goes free and who stays in jail wasn’t easy for Sutton. So he turned to running.”Running has been a big part of my life,” he said. “Running not only took off weight, it really helped with the stress of all those decisions.”When Sutton was in his 30s, he was diagnosed with the most common form of skin cancer – basal cell carcinoma, a slow-growing non-melanoma form of skin cancer that develops from sun exposure. For more than 40 years, Sutton has been plagued by tumors on his shoulders, neck and head caused by the cancer.Through homeopathic remedies, Sutton quieted the symptoms, but by the late ’90s, his tumors, including one the size of a cut-in-half softball on his shoulder, had grown out of control.He started radiation treatments in Grand Junction in 2001, and it killed Sutton’s tumors. Years of skin graphs and scars from previous tumor surgeries are the only physical reminders of his battle with skin cancer. Otherwise, Sutton is as healthy as a horse and probably more fit than one.Still fueled by his passion for running, Sutton has more plans for it in his future.”My goal now is to run 10 miles on my 100th birthday,” Sutton said.
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