Active in NWI: Moving Since Birth

By: Caitlin Vanlaningham Last Updated: August 10, 2015

Kevin Higdon is a life-long La Porte County resident. You may know him as the Chief Financial Officer of IU Health La Porte and Starke Hospitals, or you may also know him by his familiar last name. His father is the famous Hal Higdon, runner and writer.

“With my dad being a runner I’ve always been around running,” Kevin said. “When he ran I tagged along. He’d go run the Boston Marathon and we’d know everybody.”

Fun fact: Kevin shared that many of the training programs produced by Hal Higdon were based on the training that Kevin did. His father designed the programs for Kevin when he graduated from college and had to balance his competitive running with his work schedule.

Another Fun Fact: Kevin and his father held the record for fastest father/son marathon run. They each ran their fastest times on different years, but their times combined claimed the record.

Needless to say, Kevin was active from a very young age. A native of Michigan City, he was in cross country in high school and took that with him to college in Southwestern Michigan and IU Bloomington. Kevin said that his team at IU had five Olympians on it and ended up winning the 1981 Track and Field Big Ten Championships. Kevin ran the 3000 meter Steeplechase and finished 3rd but his team won.

Later on, A partial knee replacement changed his running routine. He keeps it light now, running a few miles or so every other day, alternating with cardio training on a stationary bike and swimming.

“This past year I ran some races, just because I enjoy it,” Kevin said. “I think being active is extremely important for everyone. Here, we’re striving to be one of the top 10 healthiest communities in the state by 2030. At IU Health, we want to help people who are sick as well as those who are well. The goal is to not have so many sick people coming into the hospital. We want them to be healthy and well and we have lots of resources that they can utilize to make that happen.”

Kevin was able to pass on his love of being active to his kids, who participated in lots of sports. His oldest son ran cross country at Notre Dame, his middle son is a triathlete, and his daughter ran at St. Mary’s college.

And he loves that there are so many places near him to get out and be active. Kevin likes to swim in Lake Michigan and run on at the Indiana Dunes State Park. He will often ride his bike to work, a 17 mile trip. He feels that is one of the best perks of living close to work; the commute, no matter what mode of transportation you use, is quite agreeable.

“When my dad and I would run on the dunes we had names for them; the Mighty Dune, the Mammoth Dune, and I’d charge up those dunes,” Kevin said. “I like the New Buffalo horse trails by Michiana Shores, and I run up and down Lakeshore Drive.”

To find out more about the running and biking trails in the region, click here