Friday, December 19, 2008

Clarence DeMar - "Mr. de Marathon"


I might be wrong - but, I'm guessing that no one reading this blog has heard of "Mr. de Marathon" before. The only reason I know anything about him is that he is in Noakes' book "Lore of Running." But, he won the Boston marathon a record 7 times and ran it 33 times - the last time at the age of 65. Some of the years he won had some soft times, but he ran a 2:18 in 1922 - no easy jog. DeMar only won the Boston marathon once during the ages of 22-33 because he had been told he had a heart problem and that as a strict Baptist he believed that the desire for "selfish victory" was immoral. So, maybe there is some hope for us "old men."
The one quote I found for him was "Run like hell and get the agony over with."
His training doesn't seem to have consisted of much quality work - it was mostly 100 mile weeks with 20 mile runs as his main run for the week. Speed work mostly came from 10 mile races.

2 comments:

THE KRIS said...

i still maintain that one of the better things you can do for yourself (marathon wise) is get used to running 20+ miles. i fail to see how you run fast if your training plan never has you getting closer than 6 miles from race distance and you only do it once. well, maybe i'm just old(school), but i think that this guy's training makes more sense than a bunch of track work and fewer miles.

then again, i've got a marathon pr of 3:02, so what do i know?

fbg said...

No, I've never heard of "Mr. de Marathon", but I've definitely heard of Clarence DeMar. It must have been awesome to run back then, when if you were halfway smart and tried sort of hard, you could win at Boston.