But that is exactly what Jeff Greenlee plans to do. Greenlee, the president of NBC Bank in Altus, is one Oklahoman who will try to achieve this accomplishment and meet the challenge as he has qualified and invited to participate in Monday’s Boston Marathon.
The Boston Marathon is a 26.2 mile race from Hopkinton, Mass., to Boston. Runners must qualify to participate by running a previous marathon in a particular time, depending on age and gender, and individuals with the quickest time have priority to registration.
It’s easy to understand that running in the Boston Marathon is a major accomplishment as well as a challenge.
Greenlee began running in 2006 to get into better shape for golfing, but it wasn’t long before he devoted his free time to running. He first ran in a relay at an Oklahoma City Marathon with his running partner Jeff Greenleeand his twin sons Alex and Todd . He has run four marathons and numerous half-marathons, including Oklahoma City-based marathon events..
Similar to golf, running provides activities for Greenlee to participate in while traveling. A few years ago he ran a marathon
while attending for the ABA Agriculture Banker’s Conference in San Antonio, and last September he ran an 18-mile tune up race in New York while attending the OBA’s Annual Washington, D.C., Visit.
Also, running is a great way for Greenlee to participate in charitable events such as the Southwest Oklahoma Cancer Center fundraisers in Lawton.
To keep himself motivated, Greenlee determines a set of timed goals he wishes to accomplish rather than completing a certain distance. To train properly, Greenlee had to learn how far to push his body to prevent increasing mileage too soon. Greenlee was not very athletic during his younger years, but this gave him the advantage of healthy knees and joints today.
“This year’s training for the Boston Marathon started about mid-December, with a gradual build up of base mileage for two months prior to that,” Greenlee said.
To participate in the Boston Marathon, Greenlee had a few obstacles to overcome. He had to meet qualifications for the marathon first, which he accomplished during the Oklahoma City marathon in May where he ran it in three hours and twenty four minutes ahead of the required three hours and thirty minutes. Second, registering for the marathon was competitive with new regulations accepting fastest runners first.
“When I first qualified for the Boston marathon this past May in Oklahoma City, I told everyone that I had accomplished my goal and if I actually got the chance to run in it, I would probably take the time to enjoy it and not push my body for a time goal,” Greenlee said. “I am finding now that the same “idiot gene” that helped me qualify is again taking over and pushing me to give it my very best, and possibly shave off a few more minutes in my marathon time. For me, the marathon has been a great “playground” to test both my physical and mental limits and the 116 year history of the Boston marathon will make it even more rewarding.”
Greenlee most of the time concentrates on the race when he is running, and doesn’t engage in conversation with other runners.
But there have times he has including a 32-year-old Marine captain from Fort Sill and a 54-year-old man from Virginia running in his 54th marathon.
He has met several people at area running events that he continues to maintain contact with including Bart Yasso with Runners World magazine and his wife, Laura, who have both ran hundreds of marathons and other races around the world.
Greenlee’s wave/corral will start around 10:20 Eastern Time and estimating he will be finished around 1:40 p.m.
“Either way, I look forward to the experience of this 116th running of the historic Boston Marathon and the opportunity of making up stories that never happened to tell my grandkids one of these days,” Greenlee said. “It’s like the Super Bowl / World Cup / Final Four / Kentucky Derby for runners, except 27,000 of us get to participate!”