St. Jude Memphis Marathon
December 3, 2005
Race Report by Bob Dolphin
Usually when Lenore and I go to a marathon that is new to us, the focus is on the event. This entails the adventure of traveling to a new area for a running experience and often adding a new state to our marathon list. Our trip to west Tennessee to run the St. Jude Memphis Marathon fit those criteria to a degree, but it wasn't our main reason to run another marathon on Saturday, December 3, 2005.
We went to celebrate the running accomplishments of one 74 year old man, Norm Frank, of Rochester, New York. On race day, Norm would be completing his 900th MARATHON, the first North American runner to accomplish this feat!!!
Norm, a grandfather of two and a retiree, ran his first marathon, the Boston Marathon, in 1967 when he was 37 years of age. He has run marathons and ultras ever since. He once ran at least one marathon per month for 216 consecutive months, which translates into 18 years! He usually runs three to four marathons per month, only with brief interruptions due to injuries.
He has run 30 consecutive Boston Marathons, and his personal best time is 3:20:00. He's a 50 State Finisher who has run marathons in Germany, Greece, Ireland and Turkey.
At the meeting of the 50 States Marathon Club the day before the race, club president Tom Adair described Norm's long and remarkable megamarathoning career and presented him with a plaque. Lenore and I, co-directors of the 100 Marathon Club North America, then gave him a special medallion and a collection of 10 club pins, one for every 100 marathons that he has run plus an extra "900" pin.
Norm had shin splint leg problems at Memphis, but he persevered at a slow running pace and finished the course on race day to log in Marathon #900. His next goal is to reach his 1,000th marathon in a few years.
The St. Jude Memphis Marathon was well-organized and provided an interesting tour of Memphis. At 8:00 a.m. the temperature was in the high 30's with overcast skies and a moderate wind. The temperature rose to the 50's, and it was a great day for a race.
The combined fields of the marathon and half marathon totaled about 3,000 runners. Going from the suburbs on a clockwise loop, we ran alongside the Mississippi River in the second mile and watched the riverside activity. Then we ran through the downtown area where we passed the Cook Convention Center which had been the site of the packet pickup/expo. We also went by St. Jude's Children's Hospital which has a close association with the marathon.
This hospital was founded by the late entertainer, Danny Thomas, in 1961. It has treated over 19,000 children and is the largest childhood cancer research center in the United States. Proceeds from the marathon and half marathon are used to support the hospital. Money raised from the 5K Race helps maintain a short-term housing facility for some of the patients. Runners who raise pledges for the afflicted children are called St. Jude Heroes. Many "Heroes" were seen on the race course running for this good cause.
In downtown Memphis we were entertained by singing Elvis Presley impersonators and rock & roll bands. Most of the run was in pleasant suburbs on gently rolling terrain with long grades.
Passing through the Overton Park was a nice diversion where we saw visitors heading to the zoo and golfers on a nearby course. My favorite part of the park was the old growth deciduous forest where I returned the next day when we were sightseeing.
At 12 miles the half marathoners went one way to a finish line, and the marathoners ran to the start mat to begin a different loop that ran counter-clockwise. The race finished downtown in Auto Zone Park, a baseball stadium, which served the finishing activities well.
I knew quite a few runners in the marathon, but Paula Boone from Humble, Texas, was the only friend whom I saw on the course. Another friend, Terry Sentinella, a 50 Stater, Marathon Maniac and Skagit Flats Marathon Race Director from Anacortes, WA, ran an excellent 3:08:00 for an age class 4th place. Terry's Marathon Double the weekend before in Seattle possibly prevented him from placing higher.
My time was 5:25:34, and I placed 1,383 of 1,513 finishers, first 75+ male and oldest runner in the race.
Thanks to the officers of the 50 States Marathon Club for permitting Lenore and me to share their booth at the Expo. We promoted our Yakima River Canyon Marathon, the 100 Marathon Club North America, and the Marathon Maniacs Club.
Marlin Keesler, a new 50 States Finisher, sold his new book from the adjoining booth. Our Life on the Run is his story of running 50 marathons in 50 states. His son and daughter both suffer from Asperger's syndrome, a neurological disorder most commonly believed to be a high functioning form of autism. Making his running of the 50 states a "Family Quest" was a way to help his children learn first-hand about our wonderful country.
Here are quotes from the back cover: "A terrific book filled with candor, insight and humor"….."Not your typical sports memoir. This is a family book and the Keeslers show us that families can plan out an adventure, experience it, and come home closer to each other than they ever thought possible" ….."This book proves how one person's goal can turn into a fun-filled activity for the entire family." It's a great story!
As a volunteer the previous Sunday at the finish line of the Seattle Marathon, Lenore had met photographer Jay Sutherland of Action Sports International. After she realized that they would be at the same race six days later, she offered to be a volunteer for his crew at the St. Jude Memphis Marathon. She helped at the finish area with the photographing of runners and their families with "Elvis" dressed in a black outfit and another "Elvis" dressed in a white outfit. These two young men were volunteers, as well, employees of St. Jude's Hospital who told her of the charitable help that is given to children with cancer.
When this well-organized marathon in Memphis with a great tour of the city was over, an impromptu celebration for 50 Staters was planned for those who wanted to honor Norm Frank on the completion of his 900th Marathon. We gathered at the Hard Rock Café on Beale Street where we made room for 10 people at our table.
Here are some noteworthy statistics: The combined total of marathons completed by the nine runners at the table was 2,267, an average of almost 252 per person! If you add Lenore's total of 252 marathons as a support person/volunteer, the total rises to 2,519, and the average remains the same.
These people are the ones who shared the celebration meal with Norm Frank (900): Bob Dolphin (372 marathons); Steve Boone, Humble, TX (296); Tom Adair, Alpharetta, GA (208); Paula Boone, Humble, TX (159); John Lent, Waltham, VT (104); Carolyn Mitchell, Lenexa, KS (76); Kent Mitchell, Lenexa, KS (56).
The St. Jude Memphis Marathon weekend was another great event and adventure, and I've added Tennessee to the list on my quest of becoming a 50 State Finisher.
Written by Bob Dolphin
Partial Results - St. Jude Memphis Marathon, December 3, 2005
2:16:48 Kassahun Kabiso, 22, Peerskill, Ny, First Overall
2:18:33 Sammy Nyamongo, 29, Augusta, GA, Second Overall
2:19:13 Nicodemus Malakwen, 22, Chapel Hl, NC, Third Overall
2:49:11 Jenny Deweese, 27, Asheville, NC, First Female
2:52:43 Grace Misati, 30, Ann Arbor, MI, Second Female
3:02:04 Jennifer Ziegler, 25, Jackson, MI, Third Female
3:08:00 Terry Sentinella, 41, Anacortes, WA, Marathon Maniac (MM)
3:17:23 Rob Sargent, 51, Dagenham, United Kingdom
3:23:15 John Everett, 45, Strafford, MO
3:26:54 Sam Thompson, 25, Vicksburg, MS, MM
3:29:23 Ian Place, 56, Leeds, United Kingdom
3:44.37 Brenton Floyd, 20, Harrison, TN, MM, 100 Marathon Club
3:46:31 Darwin Weimer, 48, Emerald Park, SK, Canada
3:48:39 Roy Dagneau, 70, Salmon Arm, BC, Canada, 1st 70-74M
3:49:11 Rick Lutz, 46, Virginia Beach, VA
3:50:44 John Lent, 51, Waltham, VT, 100 MCNA
3:51:44 Christopher Bossman, 41, Brentwood, MO
3:54:32 Philip DeYoung, 37, Sachse, TX, MM
3:59:18 Kevin Brosi, 50, Flower Mound, TX, MM
3:59:50 Robert Lopez, 39, Seattle, WA, MM
4:13:58 Gina Moore, 54, San Marcos, TX, 100 NCNA
4:15:09 Marv Bradley, 66, Canon City, Co, 100 MCNA
4:24:58 Kathy Everett, 43, Strafford, MO
4:28:58 Ruth Ripley, 58, Penellville, NY
4:29:03 Marie Bartoletti, 48, Finleyville, PA, MM
4:29:44 Steve Boone, 56, Humble, TX, MM, 100 MCNA
4:55:46 Kent Mitchell, 72, Lenexa, KS
5:02:20 Jay Seashore, 63, West Hills, CA
5:07:37 Kendel Prescott, 45, Decatur, GA
5:07:37 Walt Prescott, 52, Decatur, GA
5:16:37 John Connor, 50, Newport, KY
5:25:12 Henry Rueden, 55, DePere, WI, 100 MCNA
5:25:34 Bob Dolphin, 76, Renton/Yakima, WA, MM, 100 MCNA, 1st 75+
5:28:13 Eugene Defronzo, 69, Cheshire, CT, 100 MCNA
5:35:29 Cheryl Murdock, 55, Pensacola, FL, 100 MCNA Wannabe
5:42:47 Lois Berkowitz, 56, Riverview, MI, 100 MCNA
5:43:16 Cathy Troisi, 59, Seneca Falls, NY, MM, 100 MCNA
5:45:29 Cheryl Cook McCoy, 61, Salida, CO
5:48:22 Paula Boone, 39, Humble, TX, 100 MCNA
5:56:00 Terry Weimer, 49, Emerald Park, SK, Canada
6:00:33 Carolyn Mitchell, 69, Lenexa, KS
6:04:54 Tom Adair, 64, Alpharetta, GA, 100 MCNA
6:05:05 Ray Scharenbrock, 72, So. Milwaukee, WI, 100 MCNA
6:53:49 Norm Frank, 74, Rochester, NY, 100th Member of 100 Marathon Club North America……..Completed his 900th MARATHON!!!