Kyle Butler, a 26-year-old cross country athlete at Florida Southern College, is older than his coach.

Butler, a junior, is older than his coach because after dropping out of college he enlisted in the Army. He served almost four years, including a tour in Afghanistan. This fall he's back to school and coached by Ben Martucci, a former high school rival who appears to only be able to grow the lower half of a beard.

  • While Martucci was buying bottled water, Butler was wringing sweat from his uniform directly into his mouth
  • While Martucci was playing X-Box with one of those silly headsets, Butler was in a Humvee playing spot-the-IED
  • While Martucci was talking to his parents on the phone about how they just didn't understand, Butler was talking to a piece of bar soap he'd carved into a primitive figure and named Hank, which he stored under his cot
  • While Martucci was sleeping until noon, Butler was also sleeping until noon, though he'd been awake on post until 8 a.m., dipping instant coffee that came from an MRE to stay awake

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This fall Butler and Martucci will have plenty to catch up on as the Moccasins open their cross country season.

[Runner's World]