Clarence DeMar was told by his doctors that his heart was not strong enough to run long distances. In response, he won seven Boston Marathons and an Olympic medal. He became a teacher in Keene, NH – undoubtedly teaching students perseverance.
For a couple of years I had been eyeballing the Clarence DeMar Marathon in Keene, NH but scheduling had not worked out. This year I was able to change that. I’m not convinced I will become one of those “50 State” marathoners, but I’m sure trying. I’m up to 11 so far, so I will just keep plugging.
The hotels in Keene were crazily priced and as my family would not be coming, I decided to try Air BnB. What a great experience I had. I stayed at a solar powered house “off the grid” with several other runners. The race was a point to point race starting in Gilsum, NH and ending at Keene State College (in Keene, NH). Keene is a great New England Town – think “Newhart” just larger because it has a college there.
The race organizers moved the race start time back an hour – which meant getting up super early – around 4:45 AM (which is super early for me). I had to drive to the finish line and park. Then we had to be bused to the start line for the 7 AM race start. We had to sit around in a gym for about 45 minutes pre race start. The people were nice, but the “point to point” races – where you have to be bused someplace to start, are not my favorite.
Every Marathon is unique of course (this was # 26, and while many more people have run many more marathons, with 26 done, I feel like I can speak with a bit of authority on the various types of marathons). However, this marathon added some extra incentive – a cemetery and the threat of zombies. My older son – who caught the “zombie” craze, questions my intelligence for running marathons (“you pay money to run a long distance and become really tired” – yup). However, I thought the zombie training course within the marathon’s real cemetery may impress him (it didn’t, he’s 15, very little I offer impresses him).