Bethesda resident beats odds, streaks at Boston

Not that kind of streaking, silly.

According to a piece from Runner’s World Amby Burfoot, Ben Beach of Bethesda has run 42 consecutive Boston Marathons. Actually, the Runner’s World piece from March 2008 says he’s completed 40 — Monday marked his twenty-second, with a finish of 4:48, according to race results.

In addition to being consistent, Beach is fast, with a PR of 2:27. He is also committed against all odds: A neurological movement disorder called dystonia has affected Beach’s gait, making training difficult and racing harder.

But he has persevered not only in Boston, but at the annual Cherry Blossom Ten Miler, the eponymous Washington race that defines April for many DC runners. Burfoot writes that as of March 2008, Beach was the only runner to have finished all 35 Cherry Blossom Ten Milers. He finished this year’s race with a time of 1:37 — which many runners who aren’t coping with a debilitating condition like his consider pretty speedy.

To understand how Beach keeps going, check out this amazing video showing his three adult children pacing him to a 2007 Boston Marathon finish. If you don’t get a little weepy listening to self-effacing Beach talk about how much his kids’ support means to him, and how he was afraid he was letting them down, you might be a jerk.

Learn more about Washington runners at the Boston Marathon at my DC Running Examiner page.

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