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8 men have run Chicago Marathon since it began in 1977

Thursday, October 10, 2013

They're in a class all their own. Eight men have been running the Chicago Marathon since its very first year in 1977. On Thursday they gathered for a pre-marathon event and shared some of their experiences as they prepare for Sunday's race.

It will be their 36th Chicago Marathon, those some have run many others.

Somewhere amidst these bobbing heads from the late 70s are eight men who were there. These eight dudes posing for the cameras have done every Chicago Marathon since the first one in '77.

Ron Williams is the oldest at 74. While most humans will never run a marathon in their lives, each of the amazing eight have run all 35 Chicago marathons, and more. Randy Burt has 72 on his life's resume.

"We moved back here in '77 and low and behold there was the Chicago marathon and I thought you know what, I'm 29 years old, I better run one of those before I'm over the hill," said Randy Burt, Chicago Marathon veteran.

But when does the hill come? If it does, you run up it. Daniel Skrzypczynski is 73.

"I wanna get this one done and I wanna focus on next year so I gotta make this faster and I think I can," said Daniel Skrzypczynski, marathon veteran.

Each of these guys run for many reasons. If you ask Ron, it has to do with health, and what you put on your plate.

"If I dont run I'll put on 10 pounds in three weeks so running allows me to eat what I want and not be concerned about that," said Ron Williams, Chicago Marathon veteran.

What never changes for these veterans is the joy of the run and the thrill of the finish, listening to strangers applaud the strength of the human spirit, age be damned.

"My son-in-law will meet me at the finish with a wheel chair and the purpose to that is we'll get to the restaurant faster than struggling along on a slow basis," said Skrzypczynski.

That's the beauty of it, whether you get wheeled to the table or you can walk to it, you can eat whatever you want after you run a marathon. All of them say they plan to keep going as long as they can keep going.

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