Wellesley native John Delaney has an impressive streak of running 24 straight Boston Marathons and is planning to make it 25 in a row on Monday. You’d think foot and leg injuries might be the biggest concern in keeping such a streak alive, but for Delaney, it’s actually a collarbone that he broke about 5 weeks ago tripping on a curb. “It is getting better and I am going to try to run and finish the Boston Marathon on Monday. But I will be forced to run it real, real slow.”
No matter how long it takes him — and Delaney has run some very fast Boston Marathons — he’ll join an exclusive group of runners in the Quarter Century Club. On top of that, he’s run about another 50 marathons, including some in Europe and most of the U.S. states.
Delaney says he grew up watching the race in Wellesley and ran his first Boston Marathon at the age of 26. He got into running while living in a frat house environment in college — as a way to get away from the noise.
He now finds running the Boston Marathon a good excuse to travel back here from his home in Sonoma, Calif., where he works for CamelBak Products in finance and accounting (in fact, CamelBak even has a Delaney line of running hydration packs).
Delaney acknowledges that many runners cite the Wellesley College scream tunnel as a race highlight, though he says his favorite part of the course in Wellesley is running downhill past the Warren Building/Recreation Department. The biggest change he’s seen in the race is the number of people who want to run it. This year’s field is capped at 25,000.
Asked about his best and worst Boston Marathon memories, Delaney says: “The best was running the 2:34 and turning the corner on to Boylston and being almost the only one on the road and sprinting to the finish. The worst was being dehydrated and ending up in the medical tent for 3 hours and I was a little delirious.”
This year’s race will be a tough one for Delaney given the collarbone injury, and he fears it might be difficult to run a qualifying time for next year. He’d love to stretch his streak to 40 straight eventually. Either way, you’ll probably find him after this year’s race enjoying some wings at Buff’s Pub in Newton. If you do see him, just be careful about giving him too hard of a hug.
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