Larry Macon has told the story countless times, but thats what happens when youve run something like 1,250 marathons.
On this day, he doesnt have the exact count because he hasnt tallied up his 2014 feats yet, but last year he finished 255 marathons recognized as a record and while he hopes for his own sanity that he doesnt approach that number this year, well, hes not exactly slowing down.
I enjoy it as much as I ever did in fact, more, Macon said. I know more people, and I will see depending on the size of the race up to several hundred people that I know. And Ill talk to them and run if you can call what I do run with them and just have a great time. Then when youre out there by yourself, which I often am, your mind is working and all the things that have been so important to you during the week all of a sudden are not important at all.
Macon will take part in the 17th annual Myrtle Beach Marathon this Saturday for what he says is the 10th time. Its one of his favorites. Along with the usually pleasant weather, its a flat course, which is nice every now and then when you run as many marathons as he does.
So the back story
I think its a brain problem now, but it started off because a bunch of lawyers were sitting around lying to each other about what athletic things theyd done the weekend before, Macon said. Somebody said they had played 48 holes of golf, somebody else said they had swam a couple miles and I said I was training for a marathon because I just happened to look at the newspaper and they said that [was coming up]. And they said, Super. Well have a party for you. Its in three weeks, so well have a party afterwards. So I was stuck, and the rest is history.
His Facebook page claims hes broken the Guinness Book of World Records mark of most marathons run in one year three times including last year.
Not bad for a 69-year-old workaholic lawyer from Texas who says he spends upwards of 60 hours or more a week at his professional craft.
My wife says Im obsessive compulsive so this is a better thing, Macon said. Before I started doing this, I worked 24 hours a day, and she said This is better. I can get in worse trouble if I wasnt doing this.
Its less sport and more social endeavor these days, Macon says. The 5-foot-10, 155-pound self-acknowledged marathon maniac says his best time ever was four hours and 15 minutes, and nowadays hes likely to finish in anywhere from five-and-a-half to six-and-a-half hours.
OK, the title has a story of its own too.
About nine years ago there was an organization formed called the Marathon Maniacs and the president of this thing said, Were going to award somebody who is the maniac of the year, Macon said. But he said, And by the way, I think Im going to win. I said, I dont think so. So we competed all year, and I ended up with 56 or something and won. And everybody said, Boy, that was crazy. Nobody does 56 marathons in a year. Thats insane. Thats one a week! I won it, and the next year somebody said Im going to win, and I said, Not so fast. I won it eight years in a row. They finally stopped giving it away because Id win it every year.
After the Myrtle Beach Marathon on Saturday, hes hopping down to Birmingham, Ala., for another one Sunday and off the top of his head he thinks he has two more in Oklahoma next weekend.
It just goes on like that, he said. Its just a zoo. Ive done marathons in all 50 states 16 times. I just criss-cross and see people I know. Life couldnt be much better than this.
The satisfaction remains the same all these years later, he insists, but last year might have been a little much because he was constantly having to jet off to the next race on his list. So he wants to enjoy them as much as he can now.
As for being a full-time lawyer with offices in San Antonio and Dallas, he admits sometimes his hobby and his career conflict. Not that its a problem.
My greatest accomplishment is three years ago in the Boston Marathon I carried on an hour conference call, which I billed to my client, during the race, Macon said. I didnt tell him that. I told him that later, and he said, There were a couple of times you seemed out of breath.
And while hes slowing down a bit, dont think Macon has given any consideration to retiring his running shoes. That wont be his choice, he insists.
When I cant make it by the time limits, I guess theyll carry me off, Macon said. Hopefully Ill cross the finish line somewhere and drop dead. That would be a perfect end. Ive got a note that I pin to myself. [It says] In the event my body is found, please take my bib and carry it across the finish line.
Contact RYAN YOUNG at 626-0318.