Run Greene, Run

High school history teacher shows his talent for running

Brooks+Greene+running+in+one+of+his+long-distance+races.

Courtesy of Brooks Greene

Brooks Greene running in one of his long-distance races.

Natalie Haines, Staff Writer

Blistering heat. Sun beating down on your head as you struggle to keep your pace. Cracks and rocks in the road causing you to stumble. Run, keep running. You are only 63 miles into your 100 mile race. Freshman history teacher Brooks Greene knows what it’s like to feel that exhaustion.

“May 27, 2017. It was a 100 mile run, and it is called the Booneville Backroads Ultra which is a little west of Des Moines was where this was at. I was in 12th place out of 24 people that finished. I wasn’t anywhere near the front. I was right in the middle,” Greene said after describing a race that left him exhausted for hours after. “It took me 26 hours, 58 minutes, and 50 seconds to finish.”

The Booneville Backroads Ultra is a marathon spanning 100 miles. It goes through the day and into the night. Racers try to keep their same pace throughout the grueling competition. “They had aid stations. It’s not like a normal 5k race. Every 13 miles or so they had a place set up with food where you can fill up your water bottles,” Greene said, “Some people nap or, you know, just sit down and fall asleep for 15-20 minutes, but for me I just kept moving. I heard from people that if you stop you probably won’t get up again.” 

Originally, Greene hated the idea of running long distances. “I ran like a country mile, 4 miles total, and I just did it for the heck of it, and I told myself that I am never doing this again. That was the worst thing,” Greene said, “Then fast forward about 15 years of my life and it’s like something I do every day.” 

He started to run the mile again during his time teaching summer weights at Medicine Valley High School. “I would do all the workouts with the kids. I had this mentality that if I’m asking you to do something then I’ll do it right with you,” Greene said.

Greene didn’t go any farther than a mile or two until he got into triathlons. “I wanted to try and race my bike, but the only bike race I could figure out to do was the triathlon they host here in North Platte, the James O’Rourke Triathlon,” Greene said, “I wanted to race the bike, and then I had to do a 5k run along with that.”

The dogs that Mr. Greene runs with. Homer (left) and Charlie (right).

Greene says that he can tell when he hasn’t been able to go for a run in a while. Running keeps him from feeling stressed and anxious. “It keeps me mentally balanced,” Greene said. His long distance jogs have become so natural to him that it helps him in his everyday life. “He has done it so long, it’s just a routine,” sophomore English teacher Heather Collen said.

Greene’s mentality helps to encourage his students too. “He encourages us to work and not just give up so easily,” freshman Gwen Nutt said.

In 2020 alone, Greene ran 4,403 miles, averaging about 12 miles per day. “I wanted to get into shape, and running is a great way to do that.”