Go Big or Go Home – A Cleveland Running Legend
Written by Joe Jurczyk and Kirsten Dickerson
29 years. 322 ultras. 285 marathons. 288 other races. 26,902 race miles.
Art Moore: ultramarathoner, husband, father, detail-oriented engineer, and racing machine.
If you’ve been running distance in Northeast Ohio for more than a few years, chances are you know of Art or have been fortunate enough to run (or walk) with him at a race. One of the first area runners to tackle ultramarathons, Art was an early member of the Cleveland West Road Runners and became one of the most well-known Cleveland runners across the country.
Born in Newfoundland, Canada, (Where?) Art graduated high school at the age of fifteen. He went on to get his Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry at St. John’s University followed by a Master’s in Chemical Engineering from MIT, where he played on the badminton team (Badminton was a collegiate sport!?). Art earned a fellowship at Imperial College in London, where he obtained his PhD in Chemical Engineering, before landing his first job as an engineer in Holland. By 1968 he and his wife Edina (They met on a blind date!) were back in North America, and Art started a job at Union Carbide in Parma, where he worked until his retirement.
After his move to Ohio, Art turned to running at age 40 and ran his first race, the Heart-a-Thon 10K at Tri-C’s Eastern Campus, in 1977. The very next year he completed his first marathon in Buffalo, with a time of 3:18:50 (that’s a fast first!). Many, many, many more races followed. By 1996 he had completed marathons in all 50 states, and he added the ten Canadian provinces and all three territories by 2007, which is an amazing feat, considering travel distance and race scarcity. In August of 2005 alone, Art covered an astounding 9,000 miles (that’s 14,484 kilometers in Canadian), racing on three consecutive Sundays in British Columbia and the Yukon and Northwest Territories and exploring the Canadian wilderness with his family along the way. Art’s daughter Andrea, a local runner herself, says she loved crewing for Art when she was younger and recalls vividly how he fueled his ultras: with Coke, V8, Lemonade, Snickers, and Fig Newtons. Her mother Edina enjoyed the running-inspired family vacations; races always bring out a diverse group of runners, and she loved meeting people from so many different walks of life.
Accompanying Art’s impressive marathon history are ten Mohican 100 mile finishes in ten attempts, including a trip up the Fire Tower in the middle of each race. While going ten for ten with no DNFs is impressive enough on its own, Art also also completed Laurel Highlands 70 mile race the week before each of his ten Mo100s! In 1986 Art even completed a double at Laurel, finishing the 140-mile trek on the tough, technical trails in Ohiopyle, Pennsylvania in 35:58 (The cutoff for the 70 mile race is 18 hours!). Three years in a row (1989-1991), Art completed the three-day 258-Mile Run Across Ohio for the Homeless from Public Square in Cleveland to Fountain Square in Cincinnati.
In addition to his insanely impressive race record, Art is also credited with the creation of what was longest continuous ultra in the area, the Cleveland Fat Ass 50, later called the Art Moore FA50 in his honor. Fat Ass runs are low-key runs started in the late 1970s by ultrarunners across the country interested in hosting local ultra distance runs without the official organization of races. The runs were held in the winter during the holiday season (when we’re all a little FA) with the motto “No Fees, No Awards, No Aid, No Wimps.” The first Cleveland Fat Ass 50 took place in 1980 with only two runners (Rich Breiner and Noel Painchaud). A 50 miler at the time, there were only three aid stations along the way: two stops at a fellow Cleveland West member’s house in Strongsville and an optional stop at the Lawson’s (Dairy Mart) at the turnaround (you had to run with cash!). Runners completed the CFA50 every year until 2016 (except for 1985 when no runners managed to appear at the starting line! Bums!), when the event was still drawing twenty to fifty people, depending on the weather.
Time has slowed Art down a bit, but he still is able to walk longer distances and completed fifteen miles of his namesake event in Cleveland Metroparks last January with his daughter Andrea.
Art’s PRs include:
Marathon 2:50:55 (Detroit Marathon, 1983)
50K 3:52:00 (Centerville FA50K, 1986)
50M 7:10:17 (Wolfpack 50, 1985)
100K 8:49:18 (Seagate 100K , 1987)
70M 13:14:16 (Laurel Highlands, 1988)
100M 17:48, 24 Hours – 129.2 Miles (Sri Chimnoy 24 Hour, 1991)