92-year-old Wally Ypma Has completed all but two Fifth Third River Bank Runs

Ypma started running when he was in the U.S. Navy and hasn't stopped since. He has helped hundreds of runners train and succeed in West Michigan. In the 41-year history of the River Bank Run, he has missed it only twice. When he laces up his shoes Saturday, he will have three friends helping him. They will have to start just after 5 a.m. to finish in time. Ypma walks every day, sometimes more than once. His three friends meet each week to go with him. One of them, Ed Zimmerman, says they take it slow and enjoy their time together. "Anywhere from five to six hours is our normal range, but it depends on the day and it depends on Wally," Zimmerman said. Ypma always wears a smile and frequently a hat marking him as a World War II veteran. "I get there for one thing," he said. "The Finish line!"

posted Friday May 11th