KUSA - 2,620 miles: Most shudder at the thought of driving that far, let alone running that distance.
"My first goal was to get to 10," 57-year-old Jim Lynch said, who currently lives in Maui but called Denver home for many years prior to moving to the islands.
He started running in his early 30s.
"I was playing around with running," Lynch said. "I would go out and do a mile or so. I was not a competitive runner and wasn't that interested in running."
But after a challenge from his brother to run the Los Angeles marathon in 1989, Lynch finished in under four hours and caught the bug.
"Like a dog with a bone, I couldn't let go of the marathon," says Lynch with a smile. "I fell in love with them from that point on."
Lynch's original goal of 10 marathons quickly gave way to a new goal when a buddy made a suggestion.
"We were walking up to the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge in the New York for the 1998 New York City Marathon and he said let's do all 50 states," Lynch said. "So that was the first goal, and we completed that in 2006."
Turns out Lynch wasn't done after running in his 50th state. He decided he would run 100 marathons.
"I guess it's like a bucket list thing, I just added on a couple extra zeros after the 1," Lynch said laughing.
His treks of 26.2 miles at a time have taken Lynch to sites he'll never forget with St. George in Utah being his favorite, with a close second being the Kauai Marathon.
Somehow he's done all 100 with very few aches and pains.
"No knee problems, never really had much foot problems. I've been lucky not to have that many injuries throughout this whole period," Lynch said.
Friends find it hard to believe Jim will really be done with the marathon distance after Sunday's Colorado Marathon in Fort Collins, but he's more than ready to cut back his racing miles.
"I'm absolutely at peace with 100. I've done all the big ones, Chicago, New York, Boston. I really don't have anything else that I need to do. I want to do smaller races [like] half-marathons, 5Ks, 10Ks and really get a little faster. Then after those races, be able to walk for a few days."
Lynch dedicated his run on Sunday to a few close friends:
- Mike Fontes, a Denver runner who was hit by a car while on a run two years ago
- George Pluchos, a Maui runner who lost his battle with cancer last year
- Vince DiCroce, a Denver runner who has battled brain cancer for 10 years and continues to run numerous marathons himself.
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