By Kyle Siegel
Long time Sedalia resident Mike Walter is getting ready to undertake an impressive feat in just a few weeks. Walter has been training for Big D, 26.2 mile marathon, which will be held in Dallas, Texas on April 15.
Mike, the son of Wiley and Helen Walter, was born on a U.S. military base in Chataeuroux, France, before moving to Sedalia with his family in the mid 1950s.
Walter is a graduate of Smith-Cotton High School. During his high school career, Mike played football and wrestled for the Tigers.
After high school, Walter attended SFCC and then moved on to CMSU, where he received a bachelor’s degree in Science and Biology. He also received a master’s degree in Education and Administration.
Mike then went on to become a science teacher at the Sedalia Middle School, where after working for 30 years, he retired from teaching in 2008.
Mike taught seventh and eighth grade science.
“Working with the kids has always been a real pleasure,” Walter said.
During his time teaching, Mike became unforgettable to students by wearing a gold lab coat that had paw prints all over it.
“The paw prints are native to every species native to Missouri,” Walter said.
Mike was asked if he had still enjoyed teaching after all of those years.
“After 30 years with no windows and one door, it was time. I really enjoyed it, but it was time to get our and experience new things,” he said.
Mike was asked how he got involved with teaching.
“When I got married, my wife was going to be a teacher. It worked out good. We were on the same schedule. When the kids came along, we were all on the same schedule, so it worked out good with our family life,” he said.
Mike has been married to his wife Gail since June 5, 1975. The couple began dating in high school and they are still together.
Mike and Gail have two children together, A daughter named Alex and a son named Adam.
Mike was asked how he got involved with running.
“I have been running since 1998. It was a way of getting in condition. When I was teaching, I would ride my bike to school every day,” Mike said.
Mike was asked what made him decide to run in a full marathon, and his wife Gail spoke up for him.
“In 2008, Alex ran a marathon in Arizona and Mike said he wanted to do it,” Gail said.
“It is kind of a father/daughter deal. I keep telling her I hope I can keep up,” Mike said.
Mike began training back in November of last year.
“I try to get in 12 miles a day. My longest was 20 miles,” he said.
Mike is a lover of anything outdoors, and some of his hobbies include hunting, fishing, bicycling, kayaking, and swimming.
“Anything that gets me outside. I really like to fly fish,” Mike said.