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USA Today – Sports Business

by Michael Hiestand

Miles of hype: Jerry Dunn has run lots of marathons. In 2000 he ran 200 by entering actual races or running established courses. Now he’s running 26.2 miles — the marathon distance — every day for 20 consecutive days. But this time he’s creating his own routes based on a marketing objective: He’s trying to stop at lots of 7-Eleven stores to hand out an energy drink.

Clearly, he isn’t an athlete-endorser who just shows to shoot TV ads. Dunn, to hype PacificHealth Lab’s new Accelerade drink, runs his marathons in six hours — filing dispatches on marathonman.org — but takes breaks at 10 stores each day. Dunn, who lives in Spearfish, S.D., and is a massage therapist and motivational speaker, says the brand can count on him. “I’ll continue my mission unless I was hit by a car or otherwise incapacitated. But I’m not a fool.”

He’s running in Colorado, where the drink is being rolled out. But he’s willing to pioneer new markets: “I’d do this again. And I’ve never run the coast of California.”

Taylor