Alum to Run Over 100 Miles For a Good Cause

When most people think “marathon,” they think “impossible”—and not without reason. The first-ever marathon runner—Pheidippides in 490 BC—collapsed on the spot and died after his 26.2-mile run.

But Scott C. Smider '01, general manager of the Queen’s Head Pub and a freshman proctor in Wigg G, would disagree. On April 19, when Smider reaches the starting line for the world-famous Boston Marathon, he will already have completed three marathons. At that point, for Smider, it will be 78.6 consecutive miles down, 26.2 to go.

Though this may seem crazy to some, when asked about his race distance for next weekend, Smider said, “104.8 [miles]. It should be a lot of fun.”

Smider, a member of the Dana Farber Marathon Challenge team, plans to start his trek at 3 p.m. on Sunday, April 18 and run the Boston Marathon course four times through, finishing the first three just in time to start the official race on Monday morning.

Smider’s training for next week’s race is generally composed of low-mileage weekday runs in conjunction with higher mileage runs on successive days on the weekends. According to Smider, training for a 100+ mile race is very similar to preparing to run a marathon. While long runs are key, it’s important not to do too much on a single day. His long runs peaked in terms of mileage a couple weeks ago with 30-mile, 20-mile, and 20-mile runs on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday respectively. That’s right—Smider runs marathons in training.

So why would anyone want to do this?

“A lot of people asked why and I didn’t really have a good reason,” he said. “I figured if I’m able to do this, I might as well do something good out of it, so that’s why I’m trying to do a little bit of fundraising for a good cause.”

Smider is running to benefit cancer research at Dana Farber, in honor of his sister-in-law, Elizabeth, who passed away on Dec. 24, 2008 after a long battle with breast cancer.

Donations to the cause can be made here.

This post has been revised to reflect the following correction:

CORRECTION: April 10, 2010

An earlier version of the April 9 post "Alum to Run Over 100 Miles For a Good Cause" incorrectly stated that Pheidippides made his famous marathon in 546 BC. In fact, according to tradition, he ran it in 490 BC.

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