Benajil Rai / Multimedia director

Sebastien Mehegan

Administrative Executive Editor

On Sunday, September 30, an overcast and cool day, Clarence DeMar Marathon runners took their starting positions in honor of the memory of the seven time Boston Marathon winner, Clarence DeMar.

Rotary Club Rotarian and head of the DeMar Marathon Fundraiser Ann Henderson said runners can dedicate their training and the race to one of five charities: Follow “ME” And Kids DeMar, Team Service: Central America, Team Partners at the Table, Unsung Hero Scholarship and the Wheelchair Foundation.

Henderson said, “Each runner pledges for the race — at least four hundred dollars — and many of our runners have exceeded that a hundred percent or more.”

Henderson said the reason she is so involved in the race is because she wants to share the mission of the Rotary Club with the community: “If [the community] wants to get involved to support a runner or run, they can do it for something that can give back to the community — like childhood hunger, our sneaker initiative…” . She explained that the sneaker initiative is a program that supplies sneakers to every second grader in the area, to encourage them to run.

Henderson said, “[These initiatives] just close the circle of this being a community event.”

Henderson said everyone in the Rotary Club is really involved in the race. “We pretty much work all year round to put this thing on. Allen Stroshaw is amazing — the attention to detail,” Henderson said.

She said it’s a runner’s race that caters to the needs of the runner. “It’s not an elite runner’s race. It’s a race for everyone … There are all these great people that are from all over, and it’s a very friendly close race, so you get to meet different people, so it’s really just a great day,” Henderson said.

Henderson said she has run the DeMar five times.

KSC Title Nine Coordinator and marathon participant Jeff Maher said although it’s a great event that serves the community, it’s also nice to just come out and enjoy the day.

Maher said, “It’s a great day. There’s some nice weather. It’s a great event for the Keene community and for the college.” After he had completed the race, Maher said it was a perfect day for the race in terms of weather. “The sun didn’t come out until the last 15 minutes or so, so it was nice and overcast and cool  … it was a perfect day for running,” Maher said. Maher said this was the second time he has participated in the DeMar Half Marathon.

KSC alumna Jessica Ricard said, “Last year’s race was about ninety degrees … they were passing out bags of ice along the route because it was so hot, so this year was definitely better temperature wise.”

Ricard said that, originally, she started running the half marathon just as a way to get back in shape after multiple injuries sustained during her gymnastics career. Now however, she uses the DeMar marathon as a reason to come back to Keene.

Ricard said this was her third time running the DeMar Half Marathon.

The DeMar Marathon started in 1978, following Clarence DeMar’s death in 1958.

Sebastien Mehegan can be contacted at

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