Why My 100th Marathon Will Be My Final Marathon!

I love running and I love running marathons.  It has been 25 years since I crossed the finish line of my first ever marathon in Los Angeles on March 5, 1989.  Today, I have a total of 99 completed full marathons, and on May 4th I will cross the finish line of my 100th and final, marathon at the Colorado Marathon in Fort Collins, Colorado.


Ready to Finish Marathon 100

People who know me well really don’t believe I’ll retire from marathoning.  I even have a bet with a friend (which I can never win) that if I was to run another marathon I’ll owe him $100.  If I don’t, well, I can never collect.  Pretty much a “sucker’s bet!”  Never said I was smart!  Some are quick to say “Shut-up, I’ve heard this before and will see you at 101!”  But I’m telling you, it will not happen.

Over the past 26 years, slightly less than half of my life, I’ve been in marathon training mode.  Eighteen of those years, most of my training has been by myself or with my friend, David.  The other eight were as a part of two running groups; the Reston Runners and Runners Edge of the Rockies.  I’ve been fortunate to be almost injury free for all 26 years, with the exception of back surgery in 2003 (not due to running), a minor stress fracture, and one brief case of planter fasciitis.  For that, I am grateful.

I’ve completed a marathon in all 50 states & DC together with my friend David, and am a sanctioned finisher with the official 50 States Marathon Club.  I’ve qualified for and ran Boston, and have run the other big marathons: New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and Houston, all multiple times.  I’ve run many, many smaller marathons all over the United States, though I’ve never run a marathon internationally.  My favorite marathon to this day is St. George, Utah.

Many people don’t attempt a marathon until they are in their 40s, 50s or 60s, and most of the time the reasons are deep for that attempt.  Today, I  feel good, can still run a sub-four hour marathon if I put in the miles and train properly and I still really enjoy running more than any other physical activity.

So why would I retire from marathoning?  Simple!  It’s time.  It’s time to give my body a break and enjoy smaller local races, including trail running.  It’s also time to give back to the running community.  For me, 100 marathons is the perfect swan song. Over the past 25 years, running has given so much to me; good health, great friendships, personal accomplishments and unlimited memories.  Running has defined my life, and is ultimately responsible for who I am and where I am today.  And I will keep on running until I can not move another muscle.

Time to Run for Fun!

Time to Run for Fun!

Currently, more people than ever are getting into running for various reasons, and I want to be there as a motivator and inspire them as they go through their running journey, whether through social media, my upcoming book One Foot in Front of the Other, or in person.  I get very emotional and a tremendous warming of the heart when I see someone cross the finish line of a race that maybe just a short time prior could not even run a mile.  It’s even more powerful when you know their story, and there are many, many stories I want to hear going forward.  Based on what I have accomplished as a average Joe runner, I think I can be a good role model and encourage other average Joe runners everywhere.  Finally, I want to give back by volunteering at local races I am not physically running.  Thousands of volunteers over the years have helped me through 100 marathons, so it’s time to pay it forward.

I guess what I’m really trying to say is running, in my mind, is not about me anymore.  It’s about you!  And I hope in some small way, somehow, I can inspire you to reach your running dreams.  I sure did, and so can you!


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Categories: Cool Memories, Inspirational People & Stories, L.A.Marathon, Marathons, Running Groups, Running Motivation, Running Related, Running Tips, Social Media, Why I Run
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  • David Burns says:
    April 08, 2014 7:01 AM

    I enjoyed reading this. In April 2012 I got off the couch, 260 pounds. I did couch to 5K. Running for 60 seconds seemed like an eternity. September 29,2013 I ran a marathon 4:03.

    • Jim Lynch says:
      April 08, 2014 1:31 PM

      That is so awesome David. A 4:03 is a good marathon for anyone and for you to drop 260 lbs and run that time is a personal victory! You did it right, couch to 5K and worked up from there. Very smart and you should be very proud. Good job!

  • Your Favorite Non- Runner says:
    April 08, 2014 8:59 AM

    That friend that bet you $100 sounds like a genius! Wow! I have an idea though. I’ve never run a marathon (or a half, or a 10k, 5k, or more than 180 feet at once). SO how about I start training and I’ll run my first while you run your 101st? It would be brilliant. (Plus I’ll get my $100 faster)

    • Jim Lynch says:
      April 08, 2014 1:32 PM

      Have fun…I will hand you water at the aid station. You will never collect $100 buddy!

  • Lauren says:
    April 09, 2014 3:04 PM

    Thanks for the motivation. I really enjoyed keeping up with your running stories and words of wisdom. I did my first half marathon in 2011 and have had difficulty getting up to train for my second. But I really want to do a second! I just have to get my butt up and train… 🙂

    • Jim Lynch says:
      May 14, 2014 3:06 PM

      Yes…Sometimes it is hard to get started. Just like kick starting a motorcycle or pulling the chord of a lawnmower, it may take a few kicks or pulls but when it starts it keeps going. I hope you do. Good luck Lauren.

  • Jimmy Brunelle says:
    April 11, 2014 5:35 PM

    Heckuva accomplishment and body of work, Jim. In terms of the medium of life, running is a creative choice. You’re putting the finishing touches on one of your masterpieces. Like Ted Williams hitting a home run in his last at bat. Or Harper Lee writing a masterpiece of a book, and walking away after one book. I golfed for years and loved it, but walked away after making an amazing chip-in for birdie to win a bunch of matches. When your final day comes, you can look back on a life that you created with consciousness. Keep creating.

    • Jim Lynch says:
      May 14, 2014 3:05 PM

      Thank you for your comments Jimmy. Much appreciated! Now I need to work on my golf game! Have a good one and thanks again!

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