Covering Kentucky

Jul 4, 2012 11:02 PM

Runner Breaks Record, Defies Odds


Forty-year-old Kevin Castille won the Bluegrass 10K Tuesday morning, setting a new record. He crossed the finish line two minutes and three seconds before anyone else.

"You usually don't hear people screaming your name," he tells LEX 18 later that afternoon. "Gives you an adrenaline rush, especially at the end, you need a little something."

It's hard to believe Castille is 40. Hard to believe he's setting records and qualifying for the Olympic trials. Hard to believe this winner has a dysfunctional, abusive past.

"I never reached out for help, never asked for help, just because I felt like I didn't have to. Cause if you don't have parents, who do you go to help for?" Castille says.

He ran away from his problems.

Ran away from an absent, alcoholic mother, a father who wasn't supportive, and from the neighborhood men who sexually abused him. A high school coach put Castille on the right path, but in college, he found himself alone again. So he dropped out as a sophomore and stopped running.

"I've been given a lot of chances. Strike one, two, three for some people. I had like seventeen."

Castille was back on the very same Louisiana streets he thought he'd never see again. This time, selling drugs, and living in a crack house.

"It's definitely uncomfortable because you don't want people to know you made mistakes. But then for me it's like, I don't want people think that I'm perfect because... I'm not perfect, and I've made mistakes."

He hung up his running shoes for ten years.

"I can't go back there, because it's almost like I don't have any strikes left. It's been a really good motivator. I use it as something not to go back to. I use it as something to keep me going forward."

Then, Castille made the choice to change. He went back to college, earned his degree, and started coaching young runners.

"Those kids kept me running all those years, and that's what brought me back."

It gave him the courage to lace up, and hit the path, once more.

"After so many years, running, which saved me when I was younger, helped me get my life back."

Castille now lives in Jessamine County and helps coach track at East Jessamine High.

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