Benji Durden

While we shivered at the starting line on Saturday for the Circular Logic Marathon, my dad and I chatted with two other runners at the starting line.  One was a woman from Minnesota who is trying to run a marathon in all 50 states, and the other person was an older man from Colorado with the same goal.  The woman’s name was Anne, and the man’s name was Benji.  Anne wanted to finish around 3:30 (she kicked butt with a 3:27!), and Benji’s pace goal spanned the large range of 7:30 to 8:40 per mile.  He ended up finishing right after us, with a 3:38.

Then I forgot about Anne and Benji until I got a text from my dad tonight: “Do you remember Benji from the race?  Google him.  Benji Durden.”

I googled.

Benji is a legend.

Benji was a member of the 1980 Summer Olympics US marathon team, a coach for elite runners, and according to Wikipedia “With a personal record of 2:09:57, Durden recorded 25 sub-2:20 marathons in less than a decade. He ranked among the top ten US marathoners six straight years, reaching seventh in the world in 1982.”

Here’s a long article about him from Runner’s World

Ryan took this picture at the starting line.  Benji is the man in orange.DSCN0496

Here’s another picture just after the race started.  Benji is still the man in orange, next to my dad.
DSCN0501

How cool!

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