Wayne Joseph’s Blog

Running with the Big Dog

World Record – 965 Marathon Finishes by Norm Frank

Norm Frank at the Walt Disney World Marathon

INDIANAPOLIS – Norm Frank, who has completed more marathons than any American in history, was presented with a Special Recognition Award by USA Track & Field’s Masters Long Distance Running Committee on April 19, 2010.

    The award was presented in recognition of Frank’s unique contributions to the sport of Masters Long Distance Running. The presentation was held at 10 a.m., at an informal brunch at the Clover Blossom Legacy Retirement Community, 100 McAuley Dr., in Rochester, N.Y. The date and time of the presentation were chosen to coincide with the start time of the 114th running of the Boston Marathon, a race that Frank has competed in 30 times.

    Frank ran his first marathon at the 1967 Boston Marathon when he was 35-years old. Since then he has completed an incredible 965 marathons. For three years, 1994-1997, Frank held the World Record for most marathons completed according to the Guinness Book of Records.

    A resident of Rochester, N.Y., the 78-year old Frank has run, trotted and walked in marathons in every state in the Union and many nations abroad. His total of 965 Marathons completed equates to an average of over 20 marathons a year since his first in 1967. All totaled he’s logged some 25,000 miles in his marathon races alone, and estimates place his total number of miles run at 86,000.

    His first marathon was the venerable race in Boston, where he would answer the starter’s gun 29 more times in that city alone. He also ran marathons in Ottawa, Athens, and several European nations.

    Meanwhile, all this was done while managing his own landscaping business (Marathon Lawn Service) and raising two children, now grown. His personal best of 3 hours 22 minutes set at the 1976 Rochester Marathon will not challenge any records, but his longevity and enthusiasm for running is legend.

    Frank is currently battling back from three strokes and a bacterial infection around his heart.  He is making progress and is already back on a treadmill. His goal is to complete 1,000 marathons.

April 22, 2010 Posted by | Marathon Running | , , , , | Leave a comment

Volcano’s Lyman Perry leads Big Islanders at Boston Marathon

Laupahoehoe's Alan Ryan at start of Boston Marathon

Lyman Perry

Seven Big Island residents traveled 5,000 miles to participate in the 114th running of the Boston Marathon, held on Monday.

   Volcano resident Lyman Perry turned in a stellar performance as the 43 year old clocked in at 2 hours 53 minutes and 42 seconds for 705th place out of more than 20,000 participants.

   “Not a bad day,” Perry said after the race.  “The weather was really good with a high overcast and the temperature reaching the mid 50’s.”

   This was Perry’s seventh appearance at Boston and he eclipsed his previous personal best Boston time of 2:54:01 set in 2006.

   Perry, who is originally from the New England area, had set his goals high in the months and weeks prior to the race as he had hoped to break the 2:50 barrier. 

   “I was training every morning in Volcano where the temperature was around 43 degrees and I was hoping that the weather here in Boston would be comparable,” he said.  “I was hoping to stay at a 6:30 per mile pace, but fell a little off and missed my goal.”

   Perry’s finished with a 6 minute 38 second per mile pace which was good enough for 66th place in his age division.

    “At my age running a marathon doesn’t get any easier,” Perry said.  “It was great being here and having my family see me run.”

    Laupahoehoe’s Alan Ryan had his own personal reason for making the pilgrimage to Boston.

   “I made the trip because the Boston Marathon is a very prestigious race,” Ryan said.  “Boston has a very long history and the fact that you have to qualify to run in it adds to its importance.”

   Ryan, along with Perry, Kamuela’s Michael Hrynevych, Keauhou’s Eric Neilsen, Kailua-Kona’s Kevin Murar and Gary Theriault with Hilo’s Barret Schlegelmilch were the seven finishers from the Big Island to have crossed the finish line of the 26.2-mile course.

   Schlegelmilch, a 2007 St. Joseph graduate, is the youngest of this year’s Big Island group and at age 20 has just completed his second Boston Marathon. Theriault, at age 55, was the Big Island’s oldest competitor to cross the finish line this year.

   “This was my third Boston,” Ryan said.  “Last year was my fastest, 2:51:41 and this year was  my slowest, 3:06:53.”

   Despite the slower time Ryan was still thrilled to be part of the oldest continuous marathon in the world.

   “The excitement of being in Boston before the marathon is unbelievable,” he said.  “I don’t think I’ll ever grow tired of that.  Then you add in the amenities that Hawaii runners have with the “Hawaii House” right at the starting line in Hopkinton.”

   Pete Thalmann and his family have been hosting Hawaii runners since 1996 and their house is within walking distance to the starting line.  The Thalmann family will host dozens of runners from the State of Hawaii each year which provides a relaxing setting prior to doing the race.

   “It’s a huge house that is warm and dry with many bathrooms and places to relax,” Ryan said.  “Then you walk out the front door and enter your starting corral minutes before the start.”

   One of Boston’s many alluring features is the crowd support and, according to Ryan, thousands of spectators line the entire 26.2 mile course.  In fact, Boston race officials estimate the crowd of spectators to exceed 1.5 million as they line every inch of the point to point course.

   “I was nursing a calf injury in the weeks prior to coming to Boston and I never really got in the necessary training miles to run a good race,” Ryan said.  “But a 3:06 is okay as it is another Boston qualifying time and it will allow me to come back next year to do it again.”

   Ryan’s next marathon will come in November when he returns to the East Coast to run in the New York City Marathon.

    Perry’s effort this year was the best among the six other Big Islanders running at 2:53:42, and was well ahead of Hrynevych’s 3:06:26 and Ryan’s 3:06:53.  Neilsen 3:15:19, Murar 3:16:06, Schlegelmilch 3:44:26, and Theriault 3:54:39 rounded out the Big Islands seven competitors listed on the Boston Marathon finisher’s web site.

   Kenya’s Robert Kiprono Cheruiyot won the race, setting a new Boston Marathon course record in the process, with his astonishing time of 2 hours 5 minutes and 52 seconds.

   Ethiopia’s Teyba Erkesso won the women’s division in 2:26:11.

   “Running in the Boston Marathon is a runners dream and I’ve been blessed to have done it seven times,” Perry said.

April 20, 2010 Posted by | Marathon Running | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment