Joe Perry, the Six Marathon Man — Part 1

In a six-part series on CKSN, Wallaceburg native Joe Perry will chronicle the journey of how he “accidentally” competed in six major marathons that spanned three continents.

Joe Perry (centre)

By Joe Perry

I accidentally completed the six World Major Marathons.

My adventure began in the fall of 2013.

To train for my upcoming second World’s Toughest Mudder, I figured I’d sign up for a local marathon. In the year before that, I ran a 10k, a 10 miler, a half marathon, and a 30k, so the marathon distance was the next logical step.

I managed to get through the race without making any wrong turns. I considered that itself a victory. When people saw my 3:22 time, they congratulated me on qualifying for the Boston Marathon.

Little did I know this was the beginning of another journey.

Since this Boston Marathon thing seemed like such a big deal, I decided to apply and sure enough, my time was good enough to get me into the 2015 race. By now I had a sense of how significant this race was, so I decided to put some training into it. Along the way, I made some new friends. Meeting Wes Hoyt was a highlight of this event (from Team Hoyt).

I ran a 3:21 and re-qualified for the next Boston Marathon.

I went on to run Boston three years in a row — 2015, 2016, and 2017. I just loved it. Doing the Boston Marathon itself with its long history, passionate fans, and the challenging course gets even better when you add in a layer of Team Hoyt. It gives me goosebumps.

Talking to Dick Hoyt was the best. So humble. So easygoing. He would talk to anyone. I remember the two of us taking an elevator ride together that first year. He didn’t act like a celebrity. He wanted to hear my story. Such a great man.

Unfortunately, the last time I ran Boston in 2017 the race didn’t go well for me. It was far too hot for this Canadian and I failed to re-qualify. Along with Bryan Cowden and fellow Team Hoyt pal Adam Rundell, we found another marathon in Massey, Ontario. I missed my Boston Qualifying (BQ) time there by a couple of minutes. My Boston streak was over.

However, as I later learned, that wasn’t the end of my marathon journey.

Stay tuned for Part 2 of Joe’s six part series.

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