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Physics Professor David Gerdes fulfilled his goal of finishing his second Boston Marathon on April 17, 2006, (his first in 1988) and his 7th overall marathon. He has been a serious competitive runner since junior high, running his first marathon at the age of 15 and running cross country and track throughout college. Professor Gerdes finished the Boston Marathon with a time of 3:18:03, 3440th place out of 19,688 total finishers.
He was able to vigorously train for the Bayshore Marathon in Traverse City, Michigan this past May, and managed to qualify for the Boston Marathon with a time of 3 hours, 19 minutes. Unlike most marathons, Boston requires entrants to meet a qualifying standard, which depends on the runner's age and gender. In a typical marathon about 15% of the runners will manage to meet their standard.
Professor Gerdes trains in cycles, but when peaking for a marathon he will run about 50-60 miles a week, in addition to swimming and weight training a couple times per week. His training actually hit 60-70 miles a week during the peak months of January through March. Professor Gerdes relayed that he enjoys the training because it gives him time alone outdoors, a goal to focus on, and a principle around which to organize the other parts of a healthy life—nutrition, sleep, et cetera.
“Plus, being able to outrun your students and colleagues is sometimes a useful skill!” Professor Gerdes said.