The first-ever reunion of the 100 Marathon Club North America was held at the April 5, 2008, Yakima River Canyon Marathon (YRCM) that’s co-directed by Bob and Lenore Dolphin.  The meeting on Friday, April 4th, began at 4:00 p.m. with 42 members present.  The total number of marathons run by this group was 9,043 for an average of 215+ per person.  This must be a record for the books!!!  A commemorative YRCM mug and pin were presented to the members as they were introduced.  They told a little bit about themselves and their running.  Five new members joined the club:  Janice Moyer who ran her 100th marathon the next day, Deo Jaravata, Gina Little, Jon Gissberg and Bill Voiland.

At 5:00 p.m. the group picture was taken in the Yakima sunshine, and then everyone sat at reserved seats for the pasta meal and to hear guest speaker Rick Nealis, Marine Corps Marathon Race Director.  Most of the club members stayed for the awards ceremony/meal after the race the next day, and many attended the no-host breakfast on Sunday morning, April 6th.  This was a good way to end a memorable weekend and have a chance to say final “goodbyes.”

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WELCOME to 21 new members.  Congratulations to those who just achieved this great milestone of finishing 100 marathons and to those who completed it some time ago and are now joining us.

Poland is the homeland for Andrew Bartczak of Apple Valley, Minnesota, and the Warsaw Marathon on Sept. 30, 1979, was his first.  His 100th marathon was the Lincoln National Guard Marathon in Lincoln, Nebraska, on May 4, 2008, the date of his 50th birthday!  That took some good planning…….and he purchased two 100 Marathon Club T-shirts to wear for this special weekend.

The San Diego Rock ‘n Roll Marathon on June 4, 2000, was the first marathon for Laura Garrett of Copperas Cove, Texas, and the Patriot Run on September 11, 2007, at Olathe, Kansas, was her 100th.  She is a FINISHER of a marathon in all 50 STATES and on ALL 7 CONTINENTS, a “real traveler of the world.”  She is a “Businesswoman Extraordinaire” and owner of Marathon Charms and Gifts.  It was a pleasure to meet Laura at several Expos and to welcome her to our April 5, 2008, YRCM.

Years ago I kept seeing a runner racing in the Pacific Northwest barefooted, and I always told him to “put some shoes on your feet!”  Of course, these words fell on deaf ears.  Here are some statistics for Jon Gissberg of Seattle, Washington, who is also known as Marathon Maniac Barefoot Jon.  The Mayors Marathon in Anchorage, Alaska, on June 18, 1977, was his first marathon, and the Seattle Marathon on November 25, 2007, was his 100th.  He’s run at least one marathon per year since 1977 on as little training as possible, and since 1990 as many as possible in barefeet (20 marathons, 2 Ironman races, 1 ultra) or flipflops (2 marathons, 4 ultras….including 50 Miles and 100K)…..in the U.S. (Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, California), Canada and Japan.  Jon and Bob Dolphin met at the 1997 Capital City Marathon in Olympia when he had just run his 30th marathon in 20 years.  With Bob’s encouragement, he realized that he could increase his numbers by just signing up for more marathons and doing them.  From that day on, his records show that he has competed in 40 of the same races where “Team Dolphin” has been present.  He was happy to join the 100 Marathon Club on April 4, 2008, and then participate in the 8th annual YRCM the next day.

It was a pleasure to meet Eddie Hahn of Rancho Cucamonga, California, many years ago when he was in the Army and stationed at Fort Lewis, Washington.  His first marathon was at Portland, Oregon, on September 23, 1984, and his 100th marathon was the Country Music Marathon at Nashville, Tennessee, on April 26, 2008.  He has run four marathons in Germany and one each in Greece and Israel.  He writes articles about his racing and has had stories written about him regarding his military careers (he was in the Marines at one time, too) and his marathoning.  We were sorry to hear that most of the memorabilia from his races were lost in a house fire this past May.  Eddie was a participant in our 2002, 2003, and 2006 YRCM’s, so we were happy to send him finisher medals, certificates and T-shirts to replace the ones he lost.  On a happier note, no one was hurt in the fire, and re-building is in progress.

We have a member from the original 100 Marathon Club in London, England, (Peter Graham) and now we have one from London, Ontario, Canada.  That’s Jamie Harris, and his first marathon was the National Capital Marathon in Ottawa on May 19, 1978.  The Waterloo (Ontario) Marathon on April 27, 2008, was #100.  He set his Personal Record (PR) of 2:50:15 in Toronto in 1984.  He wrote, “This is it!  I finally did it:  in 24 states, 4 provinces, Bermuda, D.C. and Trinidad.”

It was at the 2004 Crater Lake Marathon that Tom Adair, president of the 50 States Marathon Club, introduced us to Kevin Hatfield of Hardwick, Georgia.  The 1st Light Marathon at Mobile, Alabama, on December 28, 2003, was his first, and less than 4 ½ years later on May 25, 2008, he ran marathon #100 at Burlington, Vermont!  He set his PR of 3:29:51 at Baton Rouge in 2004.  He’s another new member you’ll see wearing a 100 Marathon Club T-shirt.

The Twin Cities Marathon in October of 1994 was the first marathon for Allen Holtz of Oakdale, Minnesota.  In October of 2005 the same race became marathon #100.  His list of special accomplishments are:  ran inaugural YRCM on March 31, 2001; ran day-apart marathon and 50 mile races twice; two Barkley attempts; completed four 100 mile runs; finished first 50 state circuit at H.U.R.T. 100K in January of 2008; ran all Med City Marathons in Rochester, Minnesota, to date; ran five Boston Marathons.  His PR of 3:20:55 was set at Whistle Stop in October of 1999.  As of February 2008 his total was 116 marathons and 62 ultras.

Debra Jacobs-Robinson of Burbank, California, just completed her 100th marathon.  She was a “proud finisher of the 2006 YRCM.”  In 2001 she and her husband met club member Don Lang in Tahiti and kept in touch with him until last April (a month before he passed away).


When Deo Jaravata of Granada Hills, California, joined the club at the YRCM on April 4th, his marathon count was 144 (including six ultras).  He ran his first marathon in March of 1997 at Los Angeles and his 100th at Long Beach on November 2005.  Mt. Disappointment in August 2006 was his first ultra.  He has a PR of 3:30.

The first time we saw wheelchair participant Holly Koester was at the Portland Marathon in October 2006.  Soon after that, at the suggestion of Steve and Paula Boone, she contacted us about racing the YRCM on March 31, 2007 for her WASHINGTON State.  We welcomed her as the first (and only, so far) female wheelchair racer at our marathon.  Now we’re happy to congratulate her for completing her 100th marathon at the Buffalo Marathon in New York on May 25, 2008.  Holly had been in the U.S. Army for nine years when, as an Army captain, she was called on post for Desert Storm in 1990.  As she drove to report for her post, she was in an accident that injured her spinal cord and she lost the use of her legs.  After being told she would never be an athlete again, she began racing in marathons!  This year in Juneau, Alaska, on August 2, 2008, at the Frank Maier Marathon she became the first person ever, male or female, to race a wheelchair marathon in all 50 States and DC.  What an inspiration!  In addition to being the first female wheelchair participant at the YRCM, she was also the first to complete the Maui Marathon, the Tim Tam Central States Marathon in Ames, Iowa, the Eisenhower Marathon in Abilene, Kansas, the Air Force Marathon in Dayton, Ohio, and the Clarence Demar Marathon in Keene, New Hampshire.  She’s one of 12 veterans who are wheelchair athletes and pictured on the Cheerios cereal box that came out in March 2008.

Joining the club with a total of 275 marathons and 59 ultras and a PR of 3:29:29 is Dr. Juergen Kuhlmey from Oldendurg, Germany.  He ran his first marathon on September 22, 1985, at Karlsruhe, Germany.  The Dead Sea Marathon on March 6, 2001, was his 100th marathon.  Marathon #200 was the Hamburg Marathon on April 18, 2004, and #300 was the Rendsburg Marathon on July 8, 2007.  His special accomplishments include:  Grand Slam (7 continents in one year plus the North Pole Marathon); Mongolia 100K; Mt. Everest Marathon (17,000+ feet); Sondershausen Marathon (-2,300’); North Pole and Antarctic Marathon; Desert-Atacama Marathon;  Titcaca Lake Marathon.  He’s the vice president of the 100 Marathon Club Germany and appreciates the fact that Bob Dolphin (a 78 year old member of the Germany Club) doesn’t use age as a handicap when it comes to running marathons.  Juergen entered “Bob’s decade” on February 13, 2008.  He’s a “snow-bird” who winters at Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

With a total of 25 ultras and 75 marathons Kurt Lauer of Seattle, Washington, “made it to 100” on April 5, 2008, at the American River 50 Miler.  The Hinsdale Marathon in November 1977 was his first.  He’s Marathon Maniac #61 and has a great PR of 2:40:17.

Unha Lee is a good planner who finished her 100th marathon in her hometown of Olympia, Washington, by running the Capital City Marathon on May 18, 2008.  the previous year she became a 50 STATES FINISHER at the same race.  There were good stories written about her accomplishments and printed in her hometown newspaper.

We met Gina Little with her friend Carla Hayes and 100 Marathon Club members Roger Biggs and Jack Brooks at the Grizzly Marathon in Montana two years ago when she came from Greenwich, London, U.K., to participate.  We were pleased that the four of them were among the eight Brits who joined us for our April 5, 2008, YRCM.  She ran her first marathon in London on April 17, 1983, and her 100th at Kent Coast on November 16, 1997.  As of May 16, 2008, her total count was 278.  She’s a fast runner who places in her age division and sets age group course records.  She was the third lady to finish in an 80 miler and the first lady over 50 at the World Trail Marathon.

Janice Moyer lives north of Spokane, Washington, in a town called Wellpinit.  We see her often at Pacific Northwest marathons and were honored when she chose the YRCM on April 5, 2008, to be her 100th marathon.  The YRCM committee is a group of “over achievers” so there was no problem making sure that Janice (who ran with bib #100) would see a “congratulations” banner and receive a bouquet of flowers after she came across the finish line.  She ran her first marathon close to home at the October 1997 Spokane Marathon.  With a PR of 4:00:41 she was happy to qualify for her first Boston at one of the 18 marathons she ran in 2007.

In November of 1982 Bruce Purdy from Manchester, Michigan, ran his first marathon at Columbus, Ohio.  He returned to this city on September 19, 1998, to make the Lake Shore 50K his 100th.  His personal record just “squeaks under” the three-hour mark at 2:59:45.  As of April 17, 2008, he had completed 178 regular marathons and 209 ultras for a total of 387!

In a recent article in the Seattle Post Intelligencer newspaper, a sportswriter wrote that Annie Thiessen of Tacoma, Washington, ran her first marathon “as a lark.”  In 1995 when she was a veterinary student at Washington State University in Pullman, WA, a friend invited her on a long run.  After she easily completed the 19 miles, she thought it wouldn’t be so difficult to add seven more miles.  So, she signed up for the November Seattle Marathon that year.  More than four hours after she started that race, she staggered across the finish line and wondered what had possessed her to do this.  In less than 13 years she has become an outstanding runner who has captured the title of “women’s overall winner” in many marathons.  She had an amazing string of 5 wins in 5 consecutive marathons this spring that started with the April 5th YRCM and was followed by her wins at Whidbey Island, Tacoma, Capital City (all in Washington State) and then in Newport, Oregon on May 31, 2008.  To add to the excitement at Newport, she set her PR of 2:56:12 at her 100th Marathon.

On September 20, 1998, Robert Toonkel of Arlington, Virginia, ran his first marathon, the Yonkers Marathon.  February 4, 2007, was the date of marathon #100, the Pacific Shoreline Marathon.  As of a few months ago, his total count was 121, and his PR is 3:19:56.  His special accomplishments are:  winner, 2007 Overlander Sports Yellowknife Marathon, Yellowknife, NT; age group winner at four marathons; ran 14 marathons in 13 weekends (August 27-November 19, 2006); became a 50 STATES FINISHER December 18, 2005.

Bill Voiland of Richland, Washington, ran his first marathon in 1991 at Coeur d’ Alene, Idaho, and his 100th marathon at Bellingham, Washington in October of 2007.  He’s member #6 of the “Evil Triplets,” and he presented me with an “Evil Triplet’ singlet at the recent YRCM in April  (I hope that makes me a “stealth” member of this exclusive group!)  Bill is someone you can’t miss on the race course.  Watch for bright-colored shoes and clothes, and chances are that you’ll see him.

September 1978 was the date for the first marathon for Mike Wojcio of Kenilworth, New Jersey, when he ran the Sacramento Marathon.  November 2006 was the time for #100 at New York City.  He set his PR at the Sri Chinmoy Marathon in San Mateo, California, in May 1980 at 3:17:05.  He’s carried two American flags in about 95 marathons.  When he runs in another country, he carries a U.S. flag and the host country’s flag.  Even though the New York City Marathon is his favorite, his most memorable one was the Siberian International Marathon in Omisk, Russia, on August 4, 2001, when he carried a U.S. and a Russian flag.  He’s run marathons on five continents and is now limiting his participation to one or two marathons per year.

Marathon Maniac #130, Amy Yanni, of Rapid City, South Dakota, ran her 100th marathon less than five years after her first one.  #1 was at Bismarck, North Dakota, on September 6, 2003, and #100 was at Steamboat Springs, Colorado, on June 1, 2008.  In her “Special Accomplishments” section she wrote, “I actually won a few of the marathons!  I at least placed 1, 2 or 3 in my Age Group in 96 of the 104.”

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It seems like it was just yesterday that RAY SCHARENBROCK let us know that he planned to run his 500th marathon at our 2006 YRCM.  We were honored that he had chosen our race for this great milestone.  We gave him bib #500 and had a banner and champagne for him at the finish line.  Through our local newspaper we let everyone know that this special event was taking place.

Fast forward to a newspaper article in the Hawaii Tribune Herald that covers the July 26, 2008, Kilauea Volcano Marathon.  “It’s not often someone is happy about finishing last, but Ray Scharenbrock, 75, and Henry Rueden, 58, don’t mind.  In fact, Ray was delighted.  The two friends from Wisconsin ended in 7:12:18.  It was Ray’s 600th marathon and Henry’s 557th!  The duo got a winner’s welcome at the finish line.  It was a reception that Ray appreciated, and it made him think a little about his long journey to get to his coveted accomplishment as he said, ‘I think of the thousands of race directors and volunteers who made it possible for me to run 600 marathons.  I feel blessed.’

In addition to this milestone, Ray has numerous others:  he’s run a marathon on all 7 continents, in all 10 Canadian provinces and 3 territories, a half marathon in all 50 states, has reached the top Marathon Maniac level of Titanium AND has been a 50 STATES AND DC FINISHER NINE TIMES!!!!!!!!!  He has hopes of making it TEN in October of 2008 at Sioux City, Iowa. 

The following list of marathons are the ones that were used to become a 50 States and DC Finisher the first time, the second time and continuing on until the ninth time on March 30, 2008…..by date and race:  (1) October 24, 1993, Marine Corps Marathon; (2) October 15, 1995, Atlantic City Marathon; (3) October 13, 1996, Atlantic City Marathon; (4) February 15, 1998, Desert Classic, Scottsdale, Arizona; (5) September 30, 2000, Equalizer 6 Hour Run, Des Moines, Iowa; (6) November 3, 2001, Andrew Jackson Marathon, Jackson, Tennessee; (7) November 2, 2002, Potomac Heritage Trail 50K, Washington, DC; (8) December 6, 2003, 2nd Baptist Springfield, Springfield, Missouri; (9) March 30, 2008, Ocean Drive Marathon, Cape May, New Jersey.  This is an amazing feat that no one else has done.

Many stories have been written about Ray’s physical fitness, his dedication, his accomplishments and his inspiration to others.  Looking forward to this 75th birthday in July of 2008 Ray wrote the following in his 2007 Christmas letter,  “I feel that the joy of the marathon and ultra finish lines is a gift from God.  I am especially excited as I approach the start of my Diamond Jubilee of Life in the coming year.  I just feel so lucky to be able to follow a very active life!  God has been so good to me!”

We feel lucky that Ray shares his “adventures” with us through his many hand-written letters, and we wish him well as he sets new goals and reaches new milestones.

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It was in early May that we received a phone call from a local mortician who knew that we were acquainted with Don Lang, a member from Glendale, California.  The sad news was that Don had passed away at his home on May 8, 2008.

The things that he accomplished from his first marathon at San Francisco on August 30, 1992, until his last race are many.  His 100th marathon on September 21, 1996, was at Fairbanks, Alaska.  Alice Springs, Australia, was #200, and Boston was #300.  Special planning made it possible to run his 400th marathon on his 71st birthday, July 31, 2005 at the same place he ran #1 thirteen years before.  He shared this special day with fellow 100 Marathon Club member Henry Rueden who ran his 400th in the same race. 

In his first ten years of running marathons (August 1992-December 2002) he had:  (1) completed 294 marathons and 31 ultras (65 outside of the U.S.A.); (2) completed marathons/ultras in 41 countries; (3) finished all the states and DC three times; (4) finished a marathon at the highest elevation (Himalayan Marathon at Mt. Everest) and at the lowest elevation (Death Valley Marathon) in the world; (5) accomplished all of the above “without injury.”

After his 400th marathon he basically “retired” from racing and had plans to do some writing about his past races rather than participating in more.  We were always happy to receive the articles he wrote about most of the marathons that he had run, and then we looked forward to his “Memory Collages” that gave interesting and explicit details of his adventures.  Don ran each marathon only once (with only 10 exceptions).

Some of his “Memory Collages” are:  Finally a River that Does Not Run Faster Than I Do……tells about the Saturday, June 3, 2006, Green River Marathon (Kent to Seattle, WA); Another of God’s Near-Perfect Places depicts the August 21, 2004, Grizzly Marathon at Choteau, Montana; Running with Wally (Wally Herman) is a Memory Collage of Runs in Canada; Climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro and Doing a Marathon at Its Base

It’s fitting that the last one Don sent us was Running in Washington.  He was born in Seattle and lived here (except for two years in the Navy) until he was 28 when he moved to California.  Because of his “Washington roots,” he tried to run every “new one” in the state.  The Green River Marathon in 2006 wasn’t a new race, but it was one he hadn’t run before. 

He came back to his hometown that weekend to make plans for his burial in West Seattle.  We didn’t know that June 3, 2006, would be our farewell to DonIt was the last time we saw him at a marathon.  We’ll miss him and his marathon stories.

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Little did I know 17 years ago when I met Bob Dolphin and started going to races with him a year later that my life would change so much.  Supporting him at his marathons and meeting wonderful friends through these events became “our way of life.” 

A number of years ago someone said to me, “I bet you’ve been to at least 200 marathons yourself.”  So, I started counting (just like you racers do).  When Bob joined the Marathon Maniacs Club, he mentioned that I had volunteered or been a support person at over 200 marathons and asked them to start an auxiliary for people like me.  Instead, they let me become the only “non-running” member of the club….half of “Team Dolphin, #32.”  I celebrated my 300th marathon (the way I participate) at the North Olympic Discovery Marathon at Port Angeles, Washington, on June 8, 2008.
In a recent 19 month period of time, I’ve been in the hospital for five angiograms, two angioplasties (getting four and two stents), and open-heart triple by-pass surgery.  I want to thank those of you who sent good wishes with cards and e-mails and kept me in your thoughts and prayers.  I’m starting to feel good again and hope that this time the “fix” will last. 

My 301st marathon will be at the Skagit Flats Marathon in Burlington, Washington, on September 7, 2008, when Bob runs #430.  Then I plan to go with him to his fall string of six marathons in six consecutive weekends that ends with the Marine Corps Marathon on October 26,
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The 100 Marathon Club North America has no dues and relies on member contributions and merchandise sales to meet expenses (stationery supplies and postage).  T-shirts are available in all sizes for $15.00 plus $3.00 postage.  Short-sleeved shirts are teal colored with a red logo on the front and 100 MARATHON CLUB in big, white letters on the back.  Long-sleeved shirts are white with the red logo on the front and 100 MARATHON CLUB in red on the back.  Pins, in increments of 100, cost $10.00 (we pay the postage).  Personalized Medallions are available for $20.00 plus $3.00 postage.  The medallions are about 3” in diameter and come in a display case.  Please send your order to me at 10519 126th Avenue S.E., Renton, WA 98056…..and add a check made out to Lenore Dolphin.


Bob and Lenore Dolphin
100 Marathon Club North America
10519 126th Avenue S.E.
Renton, WA 98056

(425)226-1518, Renton
(509)966-0188, Yakima
(425)681-0154, Cell
e-mail:  dolphinmteam@earthlink.net