Lots of heart: John Braden keeps running after heart transplant

Newton Citizen | Wade Marbaugh

Soldiers acccompany John Braden to the finish line during last November’s Soldier Run, a 26.2-mile marathon at Fort Benning that Braden ran to celebrate the fifth anniversary of his heart transplant. (Special Photo)

COVINGTON — Sportscasters like to say, “He has lots of heart,” or, “They played with heart.” The expression goes double for John Braden.

The 5K, 10K and marathon runner has had two hearts — he had a heart transplant in 2009.

Braden, 62, ran in the Fuzz Run last Saturday in Covington and has run the 5K road race numerous times since it began in the 1980s. He’s done every Peachtree Road Race since 1977 — except in 2009.

That means he ran the 2010 Peachtree 10K eight months after he had a heart transplant. That takes heart.

A former Covington resident and former president of the Covington Lions Club, Braden shows heart in many ways. He heads up the organizing for the Lions’ annual Christmas Parade. He teaches Sunday School, cuts grass for elderly neighbors and helps out at his 90-year-old father’s farm.

“He is probably the least selfish person I know,” said Braden’s wife, Missy. Continue reading