Ron’s Story: Long-Time Marathon Runner Putting New Knee to Good Use

A bad knee put on hold Ron Reid’s goal of completing 100 marathons, including at least one in every state.

“The problem I was having was with the pain associated with running. I went into a run/walk method to keep things moving forward,” he said. “I thought it was a meniscus tear. I figured that they may need to just clip off the bad parts (to repair the knee).”

A cleanup procedure was not the answer, however. A knee replacement was needed.

The bright spot of the bad news was its timing. Ron underwent surgery in June 2020, when marathons were canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. “It was a good time if I was going to be down to get this thing fixed and get going again,” said Ron, an Englewood resident.

He met with his primary care doctor, who referred him to James Klosterman, MD, an orthopedic surgeon.

Ron moved to Ohio around five years ago following retirement to be closer to family. He worked in public administration, the last location in Kalamazoo, Mich. He ran his first marathon in 1981. “Like most folks do, I started doing exercise to lose weight and improve my tennis game. As it turned out, my tennis game never got any better, but I could lose weight and I could run fairly well,” he said.

He had completed 92 marathons in 47 states before the surgery. He also participated in several half marathons.

Dr. Klosterman performed the surgery at Miami Valley Hospital North in June 2020. The team used robotic assistance during the surgery. That assistance gave them intraoperative data to better position the implant in surgery, he said.

“When we first met Ron, he said, ‘I do marathons.’ While we see a lot of people who ‘do marathons,’ we quickly found that Ron just doesn’t ‘do marathons,’ he was participating in one almost every other week,” Dr. Klosterman said

While knee replacement has become quite common in the last few decades, Ron was not the normal patient, he said. “He has exceeded all expectations. At his one-year follow up, he required permission to do six marathons over six weeks in six different states,” Dr. Klosterman said. “To my knowledge, he has completed each one.”

Ron underwent surgery and then diligently participated in the required physical therapy. “I hated physical therapy, but knew I had to do it. Physical therapy is a key. Know it is going to be difficult for a while. I had some goals, things I wanted to get done yet,” he said.

Among those goals was running marathons in his final three states – New Jersey, Rhode Island, and Wyoming. “I worked my way around and completed that (goal)” with the 50th state and 100th marathon in Wyoming in October 2021, Ron said.

“I couldn’t stop then,” he added, noting he now has completed 102 marathons along with several half marathons. Ron said he enjoyed working with Dr. Klosterman and his staff. “I enjoyed his sense of humor, talking with him, and I have great respect for his abilities,” he said.

Ron’s advice for others includes taking meaningful steps to address problems they are having with their knees. “Don’t be afraid … attack it with a positive attitude,” he said. “Plan on doing the physical therapy. That is the key. You will be back at it sooner rather than later.” ;