FOLEY, Alabama — Killer Kowalski has been on the run since 1978.
 Starting with a challenge from a co-worker, Kowalski gave up drinking and smoking and ended up finding lifelong enjoyment in running. 
Killer KowalskiKiller Kowalski, 78, a Chicago native, began long-distance running after a challenge by a co-worker in 1978. He is pictured crossing the finish line at the annual Victory Bowl race in Fairhope on Jan. 7, 2012. (Press-Register/Marc D. Anderson)
“I was 250 pounds, I smoked a couple packs a day and drank a couple cases of beer each week,” Kowalski says. “I gave up smoking and I thought that if I weighed 250 now, I will weigh 300 soon. I had a friend who also quit smoking and we challenged each other to a 5-mile race. He was an ex-Marine about 10 years younger than me. We went to training for two months and I dropped down to 200.”