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Marathoner Runs 200 In 2000

By Sal Ruibal, USA TODAY

When Pheidippides finished the original marathon run in 490 B.C., the Athenian soldier exclaimed, “Victory is ours,” then collapsed and died.

When Jerry Dunn finished the Tampa Hops Marathon on Sunday — his 200th marathon-length run of the year — he exclaimed, “Thank God and thank Endurox!”

Perhaps if Pheidippides had a recovery-drink sponsor, he would have lived to run another day.

Dunn’s well-sponsored accomplishment — his benefactors include the aforementioned Endurox R4 recovery drink, Brooks running shoes, PowerBars , Foster Grant sunglasses and Greenfoods barley essence — was all in a year’s work for the self-proclaimed “America’s Marathon Man.”

Since Jan. 1, the 54-year-old runner from Spearfish, S.D., completed 21 marathon races and ran their 26.2-mile official-length courses another 179 times.

His usual approach was to travel to a marathon city two weeks prior to its race, then run the course as many times as possible before competing in the sanctioned event.

His average time for the runs is about five hours, but with his year-long goal in sight Sunday, he finished in 4:05.30, his fastest time of the year. His personal record for the distance is 3:23, set in 1985.

The former massage therapist and log-home builder says, “Running is my business. I’ll actually make money this year.”

Dunn got into the multiple marathon game for more altruistic reasons, though.

His father, an overweight smoker, was killed by a heart attack at age 47. Dunn was determined to live his 47th year in a healthier way, so he ran 104 marathons, each one in memory of his dad.

Dunn plans to kick back and relax at home with his wife, Elaine Doll-Dunn. She’s going to rest her feet, too. At age 63, she finished the Tampa Hops Marathon in 5:45 — her 26th marathon of the year.