Wayne Joseph’s Blog

Running with the Big Dog


A few Saturdays ago saw the 18th annual Hilo to Volcano Ultra Marathon take place.  The event starts at Moku Ola (Coconut Island) as sea level, and then runs along the Volcano Highway up to the finish line at Cooper Center, a distance of 31-miles.

    About 30 hardy endurance runners from around Hawaii and part of the Continental U.S. took part and among them was a world record holder.

    Larry Macon, a practicing attorney from San Antonio, is in the Guinness Book of World Records for completing 105 marathons (distance of 26.2-miles or further) all in the same year.

   I know what you’re thinking, that this man must be insane and Macon would most likely agree with you.

  I spoke with Macon shortly after finishing his 105th marathon in December 2008 and he had this to say, I finished with 105 and apparently nobody has ever been that crazy before.”

  What’s surprising is that Macon stumbled upon the record when he ran 93 marathons in 2007 someone told him that he was pretty close to a world record.

   “I was running about 79 marathons a year prior to doing 93 in 2007,” Macon said.  “Then when somebody told me I came close to a record I contacted Guinness and they said the record was 99.”

   That’s when Macon got the idea to see if he could surpass that mark in 2008.  “When I hit 50 marathons at the midway point in the year I decided, why not go for it!” he said.

    To accomplish his record setting feat Macon had to run two marathons each weekend and tied another record when he ran two marathons in the same day.  “On May 25 I ran the Darkside Marathon in Georgia and the Vermont City Marathon,” Macon said.

   Macon’s wife is also a lawyer and her hobby is raising miniature horses, for which she has 600 on their ranch.

   With Larry running marathons around the county almost every weekend the couple only has time to see each other during the week.

   “I have no interest in raising horses and I prefer to be going out for a run,” he said.  “We’ve been married for 40 plus years, so it seems to work, it’s pretty good thing.”

   Macon did his first marathon 14 years ago and has been hooked on the experience ever since.  “I run marathons because I want to and because its fun, so setting this sort of record is sort of a surprise to me,” he said.

   Now here’s the most surprising thing to me in researching this story and that is that Larry Macon set his world record last year at age 63.  That’s right, Larry is a senior citizen but he doesn’t fit the stereotype of someone who should be collecting social security and playing with his grandchildren.

   In his 14 year history as a distance runner Macon has finished more than 500 races and is a member of the 50 state club (finishing at least one marathon in every state) and ‘Marathon Maniacs’.

   And this trial attorney, like many superstar athletes, has his pre race superstitions.  “I go through this elaborate work in the way I tie my shoes.” Macon said.

   “I won’t do the race unless I get my shoelaces tied a specific way.  They have to be tied in bunny ears.  What happened was I had a really good run doing that and you never know, maybe that’s what caused it and I never want to tempt fate.”

    So Macon’s presence at the little Hilo to Volcano event was his seventh marathon of the month and later that evening he was on a plane heading to Maui to do yet another marathon along with a few of his Hawaii buddies from the Marathon Maniacs crew.

   “I came here last year because I have enjoyed the Hilo Marathon and the Volcano Marathon,” Macon said.  “I keep coming back because I enjoy the camaraderie and the challenging course.”

   Macon, who is a vegetarian, “the only vegetarian in the state of Texas,” he said with a grin, continues to impress everyone with his ability to stay injury free as he continues his ‘Forest Gump” adventures.

    “I believe in living as if there is no tomorrow and to never look back,” he said.


    “Who is the happiest of men?  He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though ‘twere his own,” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.

    And someday should you happen to see a happy runner come trotting through Bayfront remember to smile, say ‘”woof” and never shy away from “Running with the Big Dog.”





February 23, 2009 - Posted by | Health and Fitness, Profiles, Running on the Big Island | , ,


  1. I enjoyed the story on the incredible Larry Macon. Thanks for sharing. Good luck with the blog!

    Comment by Les O | February 25, 2009 | Reply

  2. Aloha Wayne:

    Yesterday I read about Larry Macon by chance; today I posted about him (www.yogaspy.wordpress.com). I searched for other posts on this amazing man and found yours, which made me smile because I’m no stranger to the Big Island, where I would prefer running in Hilo rain than in Kona sun.

    See my post!

    Yoga Spy

    Comment by yogaspy | August 11, 2009 | Reply

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