Ultra-fit at Sixty

For some people, running a 26-mile marathon just isn’t enough of a challenge. Sixty-year-old Dick Rozier, a high priest in the Fresno Eighth Ward, Fresno California Stake, is such a man. Brother Rozier knows something about enduring to the end. “Enduring to the end,” in this case, means running for more than one hundred miles within a 24-hour period.

Brother Rozier, a veteran marathon runner with twelve Boston Marathons behind him, is a proven ultra-distance runner. Most races have a set distance over which runners try to make the best time. In this particular type of ultra-run, however, the contestants run as far as they can in twenty-four hours. On November 18 and 19, 1989, Dick set a U.S. record for endurance running in his age group when he won the Sri Chinmoy 24-Hour Race, covering 139 miles and 400 yards.

The record Dick Rozier broke was 134 miles and 194 yards, held by a Frenchman. The former American record was 131 miles, 440 yards.

“It was a weird experience,” says Brother Rozier of the record run. “I didn’t think I could do it, but I just kept going and going.” The run began at 8:00 A.M., and by midnight, sixteen hours into the event, he had covered one hundred miles. His only trouble came after nineteen hours into the event, when leg cramping forced him to take a ten-minute break for a massage. At twenty-three hours into the run, Dick broke the record and ran four more miles to complete the twenty-fourth hour.

A father of eight and a grandfather of fifteen, Brother Rozier is “in better shape than most of us,” declares his son Richard. “Mom and Dad are both great examples of endurance and determination.” Dick serves as the activities committee chairman for the Fresno Twenty-fourth (Laotian) Branch, where his wife, Gaynor, serves as Relief Society president.

[photo] Setting a new American record, sixty-year-old Dick Rozier ran 134 miles and 194 yards in twenty-four hours. (Photo by Photoworks.)

Her Cycle of Care

Terri Harb trained every day for a month in preparation for the hundred-mile “bikeathon.” The bikeathon was to raise funds for multiple sclerosis victims like Terri’s roommate, Joanne Murray.

Terri’s friends were concerned about her taking the rigorous bike trip and tried to talk her out of it. Terri herself has considerable physical limitations caused by the effects of encephalitis, which she contracted at five years of age, leaving her with a slowness of coordination.

Despite this limitation Terri’s love for her wheelchair-bound roommate urged her on, and she pedaled seven miles to work every day on her new bike to prepare herself for the bikeathon. In October 1989, when the bikeathon was held, Terri rode 100.3 miles along with some 1,200 other cyclists and raised approximately $7,000 to help find a cure for multiple sclerosis. Because of her own condition, Terri was unable to keep pace with the other cyclists, so she had an escort vehicle behind her all the way. The driver of that vehicle was none other than her roommate, Joanne, in her specially equipped van.

The first to pull out and the last to arrive at each rest stop, Terri was worn thin when she arrived for the night at the San Onofre Nuclear Power Station, where she, Joanne, and the other participants stayed overnight. The next day, Terri persisted and arrived at the finish line in San Diego exultant. “I did it!” she cried out. “No one thought I could do it, and I did it!”

Terri has now participated a second time in the M.S. bikeathon. But because of Joanne’s degenerating condition, her roommate could not accompany her in the support vehicle this time. Besides caring for Joanne, which is now a full-time labor of love, Terri has worked as a cashier at the Fountain Valley Deseret Industries store and has attended Rancho Santiago College in Santa Ana, California. She also serves as assistant librarian in the Santa Ana Third Ward.

Whenever visitors come away from seeing Terri and Joanne, they comment on how vivacious and uplifting both women are. Whether she’s on a bikeathon or fixing a meal, Terri says, “I love Joanne, and I love being my sister’s keeper.”Lila Hansen, La Canada, California

[photo] Terri Harb has participated in two bikeathons for multiple sclerosis, with help from her roommate, Joanne Murray, who suffers from M.S. (Photo by Jerry Garns.)

The Law of the Letter

When you mail a letter, Hal Hughes will not likely process it for you, but the stamp of his approval is on almost everything the U.S. Postal Service does. Harold J. Hughes, of the Oakton Ward, Oakton Virginia Stake, has been appointed general counsel of the United States Postal Services, which means he heads up all legal activities for the service.

Hal is a quick-witted yet low-key administrator who oversees a staff of twenty-four department heads and about one hundred others in the legal department, as well as representing the 750,000 postal workers in the USPS system. He answers directly to Anthony Frank, the United States Postmaster General, and coordinates and reviews legal representation, opinions, and advice for the postal service.

While Hal’s friends and family know him for his humor and warm ways, those who confront him in his role as general counsel know of his firmness under pressure. Disputes that occur when others contend with the postal service can become hostile, but opponents find Harold Hughes’s unflappable calm almost disarming. “He seems to be in control of his emotions even when the voices of others are on edge,” says his wife, Daryl.

Hal met Daryl in 1972 when they were both students at Stanford. Shortly after that, the missionaries began teaching them. “The principles the missionaries brought us seemed familiar, rang true for us,” Hal says. “The idea of eternal progression and the whole plan of salvation answered so many questions I’d had. I had wanted to believe in a God who was a loving Father, and the missionaries introduced me to Him.”

Hal and Daryl were fellowshipped by members who have become dear friends. “The way we were loved into the Church there in Palo Alto gave us great stability,” says Daryl, who serves as stake nursery leader. “And since we’ve lived in Virginia, the ward friendships continue to be our main social circle.”

Having been a stake missionary and a Gospel Doctrine teacher, Hal currently serves in the elders quorum presidency. Greg Bishop, the other counselor in the presidency, says, “People loved attending Hal’s Sunday School and priesthood lessons. He can teach the doctrine and be profound, but he is gifted with the ability to lace everything with good humor.”

The Hugheses have three children—Cameron, twelve, Erin, eight, and Greg, four. “My family is my life,” says Hal, “and all I do in my professional and other service is for them, helping bind us closer together.”

[photo] Hal Hughes gives the postal service his legal stamp of approval. (Photo by Daryl Hughes.)