A Bethesda man is about to make Marathon history...again.
He holds the record at 49 but on Monday, 67-year-old Bennett Beach is expected to up that and run his 50th Boston Marathon in a row. He may not say it but Beach's will to achieve this goal is really an inspiration.
“I’m excited but it’s a mixture. It’s tougher and tougher every year,” said Beach prepping for next week, even though more recently, his technique during the 26 miles has changed drastically.
Beach has complications extending his left leg when he runs.
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“For four years, I searched high and low trying to figure out what the problem was but no doctor could figure it out. Then finally a neurologist at George Washington said, this looks like it could be Dystonia,” he said.
Doctors say Dystonia is a neurological disorder that can cause uncontrollable muscle contractions.
For the most part it doesn’t hurt Beach, but he is taking a risk every time he runs. Still the marathon runner won’t quit what he says he fell in love with at 18 years old.
“I’m so in love with the event, that I would have a lot of trouble being anywhere else on Patriots Day,” said Beach, even after the 2013 Boston Marathon Bombings.
Beach told WUSA9, “My family was supposed to be down at the finish line, but I had gotten injured at 10 miles and had started walking…so my family delayed going to the finish line. And had they, they could’ve been hurt by that explosion.”
In his early days, Beach says his time was a little less than 2.5 hours.
He joked afterwards, “Now if you told me 20 years ago, ‘Ben when you’re 67, you’ll be running the marathon in 5.5 hours,’ I would’ve said impossible, I could never be that pathetic!”
(He thinks he’s pathetic? While a reporter followed him was on a bike.
The Boston Marathon is a prestigious race. It’s said to be the world’s oldest marathon and you must qualify to get in.
Bennett does not qualify with his time but since he’s a major record holder, he’s allowed to race. He’ll also be throwing out the first pitch at Fenway Park on Sunday to mark the accomplishment.
A spokesperson with the Boston Athletic Association, which runs the Boston Marathon, says another runner holds the record at 58-overall Boston Marathons. However, those were not run consecutively.
“I’m still going, still plotting along…just keep taking those steps, slow as they are…and hope you get there,” said Bennett.