Max Springer began running at age 64 which goes to prove it is never
too late to make a new start. He was a member of a noontime physical fitness
class available to UT faculty and staff when it was suggested by a Dr.
Halley that the group train to enter the first KTC Expo to be held that
spring. Springer ran in that initial Expo race and every Expo, except
one, over the next thirty years. Also at Dr. Halley's suggestion, Max
ran three miles every other day for those thirty years.
Springer, who passed away just ten days before his 96th birthday, still
holds three World and three U.S. records of the ten he set. Max was a
shining example of the KTC spirit. After being diagnosed with cancer and
undergoing chemotherapy in 2006, he immediately bounced back nine months
later to compete at the National Senior Olympics and the USATF National
Championships in 2007. In August 2009, Max set two American records at
the National Senior Olympics in Palo Alto, California, just two months
before his death. In total, he won 32 USTAF National Championship titles
and placed in the top three twelve times at the WMA World Championships
at distances from 200 to 5000 meters, plus the long and triple jumps.
The WMA World Championships in which Springer competed were: Gateshead,
England in 1999; Carolina, Puerto Rico in 2003; and San Sebastian, Spain
in 2005. Springer also has 16 Tennessee state records in road racing and
numerous Tennessee Senior Olympic honors. Max represented the Knoxville
Track Club by proudly wearing the KTC jersey in all of these state and
Max was known nationwide in the Masters running world. He was inducted
into the USATF Masters Track and Field Hall of Fame in 2006. He is in
the Greater Knoxville Sports Hall of Fame as well. In addition, he served
the club as a KTC/UT track and field official for many years.
Springer passed his love of running to his granddaughters, Alison and
Audrey Springer-Wilson, and they have continued the family running tradition
in their home state of Michigan. Max Springer was truly an inspiration.