The Fun Run Story
D. Howard Doster, Fall 2013

I placed this poem at the top of my farm accounting lecture notes for my Purdue Short Course Farm Management class on February 9, 1986. I had written it, while driving Indiana rural roads, on the back of an envelope, earlier that winter to cheer myself up. I was feeling so badly because so many Indiana farm couples had “bought one too many,” during the land price bubble in the late seventies-early eighties. Although I had never advised any of them to buy land, I had advised many of them to get bigger. If only they had rented land….

A month later, Kevin Ramsey – now, a successful central Indiana farmer – then, the Short Course valedictorian, used the poem in his valedictory speech. When Maury Williamson, the Purdue Ag Alumni Secretary, was inducting the Short Course students into the Ag Alumni Association, he asked Kevin where he got the poem. Kevin answered, “From Dr. Doster’s lecture notes.” “I might have guessed,” mused Maury, “All one-syllable words.” I smiled. I do try to use words I understand.

I had forgotten about the poem until, years later, I saw it on SW Indiana farmer David Allyn’s office wall. His sons had been in that Short Course class. His daughter-in-law had typed the poem into the form you now see. After I remarked about my delight in seeing the poem, she gave me a copy.

Barbara, my wife, used that copy to make this one for you. I read a copy every morning as I get up. Perhaps you will, too.


The fun is in the run.
Make your daily run fun.
Each day, at work or at play
It’s what we do, and what we say
That makes the difference
In our way.

The fun’s done when the race is won.
Daily we must look for a new race to run.
What is the test?
Daily to do our best.
Anything less is a sin.
Run hard, Run well, and win.
D. Howard Doster, 1986

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