On your mark: Clarence DeMar Marathon celebrates 44 years

Runners start in Gilsum and Surry for this year’s set of races

Tom Benoit

Runners from around the country lined up in Gilsum and Surry, N.H. early on Sept. 25 for the 44th annual Clarence DeMar Marathon.

Full Marathon leader Samuel Fazioli said that he had always wanted to participate in the Clarence DeMar Marathon, and his decision to participate this year was very spontaneous. “I saw [that] the weather looked really good, and last night I said, ‘If I wake up and I feel good, I’m just going to drive out there and sign up,’” he said.

The Derry native said he views running as a significant part of his life. “I always have a race to look forward to. If work sucks, I can go out and hammer some miles and it doesn’t matter that work sucked anymore because I have this running thing,” he said.

He continued, “It’s like this whole second life that keeps everything interesting…I think it’s the best hobby in the world.”

Half Marathon leader Thomas Paquette has led in this event for the past six years. He holds the record for the fastest time in the half marathon, with a time of 1:11:33 made in 2014.

He said that this year the event was a “tune- up” to see where he is at in his training for a full marathon this winter. “I’ve done many marathons. Last year was my fastest; in California I ran 2:29:13, so I’m just hoping to return and run a little bit quicker,” said Paquette.

Karen Jordan, ambassador at the Clarence DeMar Marathon, said that she likes being part of the running community in any way she can. “I have the worst [fear of missing out] of my life [today], but it’s a solid decision. I love getting to watch other runners, it’s really nice to get to sit back and spectate,” said Jordan, who has previously participated in the DeMar’s half marathon.

The Clarence DeMar Marathon was established in 1978 to honor former Keene resident Clarence DeMar. DeMar was a seven- time Boston marathon champion, a record which has not been broken. Additionally, he was an Olympic medalist and is an international running icon.

“At the DeMar Marathon, we follow his example. Anyone who wants to run can run. We’ll make sure you have a world-class experience. All you have to do is start,” the Clarence DeMar website stated.

Piper Pavelich can be contacted
at ppavelich@kscequinox.com

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