"I’m one of these crazy kind of people," 70-year-old George Banker said back in October. At the time, he was about to run his 36th Marine Corps Marathon. Thing is, because of the pandemic, it would be the first time he’d run a marathon virtually, which is when you sign up for the race, get the medal and the swag, but you run your 26.2 miles wherever and whenever you want.
And that’s what brings us to where we are now.
"Once you get started – right foot, left foot, right foot, left foot, and I just did that 14 times," Banker said Christmas Eve, explaining that he ended up liking virtual marathons so much, he had decided he’d run one per week. That meant 14 races run over the last 14 weekends, bringing his overall marathon total to a whopping 130 altogether.
"For being old and slow, if you’re the only one that shows up, you’re bound to get something," he laughed, holding up a piggy bank shaped like a pig. It had been an age group award he received for participating in a marathon called the Pigtails.
When asked if his perseverance and persistence could teach the rest of us anything about plodding through a challenging year like 2020, Banker said yes.
"There has to be some type of motivation out there," he said. "If you don’t have that goal, you’re going to come up with excuses but when you have that goal you at least have something to shoot for."
Banker said he wasn’t sure if he’d keep running weekly marathons into 2021.