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  • Writer's pictureMichael Dunlap

Who doesn't like running a marathon?


After my sophomore year of cross country at SDSU, my room-mate Randy Fischer wanted to run his first marathon. I had run the Mel Voss Memorial marathon in Topeka, KS the year before and we decided to return there. The thing about running marathons back in the 70's and early 80's was that we didn't have stop watches or heart rate monitors (they didn't exist) to wear and split times were given maybe every 5 miles or so. We really had to run by feel. Randy and I started conservatively. The year prior I had progressively picked up my pace to finish in 3rd place with a time of 2:33:24. So, we followed the same plan. As the miles passed Randy and I knew there was one runner who had started fast and was totally out of sight. We were running in 2nd and 3rd place and with 6 miles to go had reconciled ourselves that we wouldn't win but were on pace for a good time. With 3 miles to go we saw a runner up ahead of us. Neither of us said anything to the other as the course was four laps around Lake Shawnee (6.5 miles per lap) and we thought it might be a lapped runner. But as we got closer we realized it was the runner who had gone out fast! The poor guy was absolutely spent and we passed him and did not look back. We came into the finish together and tied for 1st place in 2:29:20. The picture tells you how we felt about all this.


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