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PennDOT engineer runs Boston Marathon

September 20, 2019 12:00 AM
By: Brad Rudolph

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It takes 2,710 miles and 40 hours to travel from Philadelphia to Los Angeles by car. District 6 Construction Engineer Dan Gleason racks up that same mileage yearly – but on foot, running 50-70 miles each week to train for various races and marathons. In April, he ran the Boston Marathon for the first time, but it was not without some hurdles along the way.

Gleason explained it's tough competition to even be able to register for the 26.2-mile road race. You must run a qualifying marathon and your time must meet the qualifying standards set by your age group. After runners register with their times, the Boston Athletic Association readjusts the qualifying times based on applicant submissions.

In 2018, after qualifying for Boston at the Via Marathon, Gleason missed the readjusted qualifying time by just seconds. So, he trained harder and qualified for Boston again at the Rehoboth Marathon in October and this time he was really heading to the 2019 Boston Marathon in April.

Despite a serious blood clot that kept him from running over the winter, and an injury along the way, he made it to Hopkinton Center and eventually the finish line, having fun along the way with his rooting wife and daughters, not to mention the crowds of people hyping up the 30,000 runners.

"From Mile 1 to Mile 26 there was a constant buzz," Gleason said. "I took photos, I did a Facebook Live, I stopped and had fun. I loved every second of it."

Following Boston, Gleason ran the Law Enforcement Memorial Run, trekking 100 miles from Philadelphia to D.C. over three days to honor law enforcement killed in the line of duty, which includes his late father. He does this race every year to honor his dad.

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