Thursday, July 28, 2022

I Finally Moved Up a Spot in Minnesota

In 2015, I qualified to be included on the Mega-Marathon List.  This is a list of runners who have completed at least 300 marathons.  The worldwide rankings are maintained by a group in Japan.  There’s also a list that only includes runners from North America.

When I first made it onto these lists, I ranked roughly 500th in the world and 100th among North American runners.  At the time, I didn’t have any ambition to move any higher.  For a few years, I was running 50+ marathons a year, but in 2016, I cut back to about half of that.  At the same time, more and more runners were racing frequently, either to get onto this list or to qualify for the Marathon Maniacs Hall of Fame.

As I expected, I didn’t move up at all in the next few years.  Then something unexpected happened.  In 2020, there were far fewer opportunities to run marathons.  If you wanted to keep racing, you had to seek out small races that could get permits during a time of strict restrictions on public gatherings.  Most runners ran few if any marathons that year.  Some stopped training, so they weren’t ready to race, even when larger races started happening again.

I actually ran more marathons in 2020 than I did in 2019.  When the Mega Marathon List was updated at the end of the year, I was surprised to see that I moved up to 83 on the North American rankings.  In spite of that, I still ranked seventh among runners from Minnesota.  Minnesota isn’t a high population state, but it has a lot of prolific marathoners.

At the end of 2021, I was again surprised by how much I moved up.  For the first time, I moved into the top 400 in the world rankings.  On the North American list, I moved up all the way to 66th place.  In Minnesota, I was still in seventh place.

The rankings are updated every six months.  I just saw the latest update for the North American list.  I only ran nine marathons in the first half of 2022, but that was enough to move up to 62nd place in North America.  That’s all well and good, but I was more excited to see that I finally moved up among Minnesota runners.  Here’s a list of all the Minnesota runners with at least 300 marathons.  I’m now tied for sixth place.

I’ve moved into a tie with Les Martisko, and I’m only two marathons behind Mark Stodghill, who sits in fifth place.  It’s worth noting that these totals are through June 30th.  Since then, I’ve already run six additional marathons.  The list won’t be updated again until the end of the year, but it’s likely that I’ve already moved into fifth place.

In the next year or two, I could move up one more spot on this list, but the top three Minnesota runners are so far ahead of me that I won’t catch up to them in the foreseeable future – if ever.  That’s OK.  Moving into the top four or five would be nice.

If you’d like to see the entire North American list, here’s a link:  Mega Marathon List

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