I started running when I joined the Army. I hadn’t really run much previously except when necessary in gym class. In the Army running is the main exercise you do during PT (physical training). I discovered I wasn’t too bad at it and I’ve been doing it ever since. While stationed in Germany, I met my future wife, Judy. She is American but was working for AT&T in Germany. When we met I was very skinny and her nickname for me was Chubbs.
After leaving the Army, I continued to run to stay in shape. However, about twelve years ago I stopped working out as much and for the first time in my life I began to put on some weight. One evening as I was getting ready for bed, brushing my teeth in the bathroom wearing only a pair of shorts, my wife walked in, stopped, looked at me and said, “I want you to know I still love you, but your nickname isn’t ironic anymore.” Needless to say, I started running again. I ran every day for the next 90 days, dropped 25 pounds, and got back to my fighting weight.
Being of a certain age, I began thinking of things I hadn’t done yet like run a marathon, so I set a goal to run my first one. I began to train and ran in various races like 5Ks, 10Ks, and half marathons. My goal was to run a marathon under four hours. My first race was the Philadelphia Marathon in November 2013. I was physically prepared but I was not mentally prepared. I was so excited I took off way too fast; I think to this day it’s still my fastest ‘half' marathon. The last six miles were excruciating. I cursed myself and every known god and swore I would never run another marathon. I finished in 4:17. This will sound familiar to a lot of runners, but about an hour after the race I thought I could do better and began looking for another marathon to run.
Being on the East Coast, I can be in about a dozen states with a manageable car ride. Instead of waiting another year for the next Philadelphia Marathon, I signed up for the Vermont City Marathon in Burlington. I finished in 4:08, close but not quite. I then signed up for the Baltimore Marathon. I finished in 4:34, darn! I then signed up for the Richmond Marathon in Virginia. I finished in 3:57. Success! At this point I realized that I had completed marathons in four states, so I thought why not all 50.
Ten years later, I’ve completed marathons in 49 states and D.C. I am registered for the Honolulu Marathon in December 2023 when I’ll be able to add the 50 States medal to my Thersipo band!
As the ‘finish line’ of completing all 50 states has come into sight, I began to think of other goals. My new goal is to see how many marathons I can do in different countries. So far, I’ve completed the Manchester Marathon in England, the Paris Marathon in France, the Stockholm Marathon in Sweden, the Mexico City Marathon in Mexico, the Quebec City Marathon in Canada, and the Copenhagen Marathon in Denmark. I’ll be running the Barcelona Marathon in Spain in March 2024. Yes, I’ve already bought the Thersipo medal :-)
Another goal would be to complete the six World Marathons as I’ve completed NYC and Chicago already.
At this point I’m just seeing how far my legs can take me.