Head Home Previous Next Last

The 100 Marathon Man

73-year-old Del Giese of West Sacramento completed his 100th marathon
Del Giese with four medals for completing the Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, and West Virginia marathons.

Last month, a neighbor of mine, 73-year-old Del Giese of West Sacramento completed his 100th marathon—and I find that pretty amazing since we are just two month apart in age and I can't even run one block.

And not only has Giese passed the 100 milestone, he did it running in four marathons in four states, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, and West Virginia, in one outing—running three marathons in three days.

In 1963, Giese, a native of Woodland, California went out for his high school wrestling team."The coach said to take cross-country track to stay in shape for wrestling," Giese explained. "so I went out for cross-country track."

With a height of 5 foot - 7 inches, Giese felt his legs were too short to be a competitive runner, as his best time for the two mile was 12 minutes and 12 seconds. "I couldn't break 12 minutes the 2 mile," he noted.

He went on to join the California National Guard Reserves where he was required to run a mile and a half or walk 3 miles every year. "I always like running, so I didn't have to practice and I could easily finish a mile and a half," he said.

"When I was almost 50 years old, I put together a bucket list and discovered that I'd like to run at least one marathon in my life," he said, "so in 1995, I started practicing and I ran in the Californian International Marathon in Sacramento—my first 26.2 mile run."

For five years, he ran the CIM marathon. Then, Giese was relocated to Utah where he met a woman who said she ran in five or six marathons a year — "So, I thought, if she could do it, I could do it," He said, "so I started running more marathons per year and adding new states."







Once Del marathoned in 10 states, he joined the 50 State Marathon Club, and like the club's name suggests, he's been working towards a goal of running at least one marathon in each of the 50 states.

He's planning to continue running in the Californian International Marathon, now for his 25th time and perhaps three or four others.

He has completed 46 states. All that remains are Alaska, Maine, Indiana and Kentucky. Two weeks ago, he completed four states: Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, and West Virginia – morning three of them in three days.

"When I'm running several marathons in a week, my time is about 6-1/2 hours," he explained. "I do a lot of walking. It's a friendly group. My best time was in Ogden, Utah. That was three hours and 58 minutes."

Giese likes the feel of running. "I would get into a rhythm a couple miles into the race and everything is flowing—and I'm enjoying the scenery and talking to people as I run."

He remembers several runs in Utah and Virginia, "We would be running out in the country roads and there were horses in the nearby field," he said. "When there's 1,000 or more runners, it really gets the horses excited and follow alongside us in their pastures. It seems like they want to join in."

~ Al Zagofsky










Last page
Next page
Previous page
Home page