Beloved longtime runner killed in New Castle County accident

ByBob Brooks via WPVI logo
Saturday, November 19, 2016

PENNY HILL, Del. (WPVI) -- Delaware Valley legend John Schultz, famous for his iconic red shorts, was killed in an accident Thursday night in Penny Hill, New Castle County. He was 84.

It happened shortly before 7 p.m. Thursday on northbound Philadelphia Pike, just north of the Washington Street Extension.

Police say Schultz was doing what he loved, running home from choir practice not far from his Wilmington home, when he was hit by a pickup truck on the way.

He was taken to Christiana Hospital where he later died.

Schultz was famous for competing in more than 60 marathons, often finishing alone, but always finishing.

"He was just this light on the trails that you prayed to see," said Helene Horn of Reading, Pennsylvania.

Helene and Ron Horn own a company called Pretzel City Sports that organizes runs.

They tell us they met Schultz 20-plus years ago.

"John always had the attitude that even though he may be slow and he may be last that he'd get there," said Ron Horn of Reading, Pennsylvania.

Many don't know Schultz didn't pick up the sport until he was 59.

The story is he ran home one day from work, and the rest is history.

The couple says Schultz would often stay with them at their home in Reading when competing up their way.

"One of the strongest things he did was no matter what he was suffering of age he just kept moving," said Helene Horn.

They add as much of a joy it was to watch him run, it was also amazing just to spend time around him.

"Even the people who didn't know him knew him from his trademark red shorts. He was that old guy in the red shorts," said Ron Horn.

"We'll never ever forget you," said Helene Horn.

The driver of the pickup truck is not being charged.

There's been many, many posts about Schultz on our social media accounts.

To honor him, many people are planning to wear red shorts during the Philadelphia Marathon this weekend.