What attracts Kevin Eicher, Archbold, to running the 26 miles required in marathons?
“The challenge,” he says.
He’s definitely in for a challenge, since his next race, the Marine Corps Marathon, will be his 10th marathon in 13 years.
And, he has high aspirations for his performance.
“My goal was to run 10 marathons and hopefully that 10th one, I would qualify for the Boston Marathon,” said Eicher.
That means this is the big race. To run in Boston, the site of the world’s oldest yearly marathon, Eicher must meet a qualifying time specific for his age group.
While he’s hopeful, he said, “If it doesn’t happen, it doesn’t happen.
“Life can go on.”
The Marine Corps Marathon is Sunday, Oct. 28, in Washington D.C.
Eicher worked hard to be accepted into the race, which requires an application. He answered questions about his performance times in previous marathons.
After two years and three applications, Eicher was approved. “This is different for me,” he said of the rigorous process.
Eicher is always “lightly training,” since he runs six miles five days a week after he gets off work from E&E Truck Brokers, Inc., his own business.
“That’s my normal routine,” Eicher said. “I see the same houses in Archbold everyday. The same houses, the same streets.”
However, at the beginning of September, he began running the miles necessary to reach marathon-level endurance.
For training, he said, “The way they suggest you do it is you increase each week.” Ideal is peaking at 21 miles three weeks prior to the race.
It seems marathon running can be addicting. Previously, Eicher ran the Columbus Marathon eight times. He appeared once in the Chicago Marathon.
The supporting atmosphere may be part of it. “There’s people all over the course,” said Eicher. It was especially true in Chicago, where 57,000 people turned out.
“You’re cheered on by everybody,” he said.