1:57:22 · 15 July 2017

Photo courtesy Ian Fay

The amazing relay team did it! They actually ran a sub-two-hour marathon. (Press here for previous story.) Oh sure, each person only ran about an eighth of that distance, but they did what even the 2016 Olympic champion Eliud Kipchoge could not do. Even with his team of pacers in nearly ideal conditions, he missed the mark by 25 seconds. Maybe next time he attempts the feat, he should race against the Cedarcrest boys who ran as a team to finish a marathon distance in 1 hour 57 minutes and 22 seconds.

Now to be fair, Kipchoge is a world class runner who runs marathons on his own at 2 hours and something (usually minutes) and the Cedarcrest athletes were a team of eight. But the team of mere mortals from Cedarcrest does have something to brag about.

1:57:22. Yeah, that’s right.

As in all racing, the clock is one of the most important things to beat. The tick tocking of the clock as the laps roll by is a constant reminder of the pace that must be kept in a race to beat any mark. Even more so in the marathon. Each mile gives some indication of whether the runner (or runners in this case) is on pace or not. And that is as tough on the mind as it is on the body. Maybe even tougher. For at one time or another, all have succumbed to the negative nagging thought, “You cannot do it.” Imagine that thought going through your head for just under two hours.

Then, imagine the glory of telling that negativity, “Hah! I showed you.” That is what I imagine the Cedarcrest boys did when they beat the 2-hour mark for 26.2 miles.

1:57:22. Of mental and physical testing.

I wish I had been there. It would have been quite the treat so see eight boys run 105.4 laps around the track in less than two hours. Especially knowing that to get there, they each had to run their 13 laps (somebody had to run 14 laps and somebody 13.4 laps) in 68 seconds. Oh sure, they would get a little more than 7 minutes to rest between each time they were up for their next lap, but that is precious little time considering they were all going near their maximum speed for the distance. It would have been amazing to see the glory of the team as they rooted on the last runner giving his all on the last part of the last lap.

1:57:22. Of blood, sweat, and tears. (No blood, but that is the saying.)

Dean, one of the boys’ cross country coaches, said that being there to witness the event was “very emotional.” To put yourself and your team out there in a place where the likelihood of success was marginal. To just decide that you are going to attempt it in the first place and then make it into a fund-raising event (so far they have raised a couple thousand dollars for Treehouse. Contact Bruce McDowell at to donate.). And then, of course, there is the realization that these are your boys. There is that proud papa feeling. Yes, I can see why he was very emotional.

1:57:22. Of emotions.

I am sure that there are other teams of elite and even high school runners who could match the feat of our Cedarcrest octet, but Ben Benson, Chase Bolin, Ian Fay, Emmet Klaiber, Ryan LaTurner, Patrick McCabe, Daniel Murphy, and Grant Van Valkenburg can relish the fact that they did it as a team. They beat the two-hour marathon. They ran 26.2 miles in 1 hour 57 minutes and 22 seconds. They did it!

26.2 miles in 1:57:22.

© 2017 Michael T. Miyoshi

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