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Marathon Man

Marathon ManWhile he waited 57 years to run his first marathon, 70-year-old Tufts graduate Thomas O'Hearn hasn't slowed down since -- logging 30 marathons on his way to this weekend's race.

Boston [04.12.02] Though he was the captain of the track team at his high school and later at Tufts University, Thomas O'Hearn waited 57 years to run his first marathon. Over a decade later, the 70-year-old Natick resident is still running -- logging 30 marathons on his way to Beantown's famous 26.2-mile race.

"After I graduated from Tufts University [1954], I got married, raised three kids, and smoked two packs of Luckies a day," O'Hearn told The Boston Globe. "I didn't start running again until I was 57 years old."

With his smoking habit kicked, O'Hearn tried finished his first marathon in just three hours and ten minutes. With the personal victory under his belt, the Tufts graduate never slowed down.

"In total, O'Hearn has run 30 marathons over the last 14 years, including a dozen Bostons," reported the MetroWest Daily News. "He ran the New York City Marathon in November -- where he finished nine minutes under four hours. O'Hearn has also run marathons in Greece, Bermuda, Sweden, Denmark, France, San Francisco, Chicago and Sugarloaf, Maine."

To prepare for the Boston Marathon, O'Hearn has been running up to 50 miles a week.

Recently, he's been dealing with a bout of the flu, but plans to give the race everything he's got.

"I was trying to do better than the 3:51 (in New York), but we'll see how I feel," he told the MetroWest Daily News. When he hits the pavement in Boston on Monday, the Tufts graduate will run alongside his 49-year-old daughter.

The thrill of running a marathon, he says, is not about the running itself, but the opportunity to compete with himself.

"I don't run because I like to run. I run because I pick a race and I pick an objective. I wouldn't do it otherwise," O'Hearn said. "The alternative is to sit in front of a TV for the rest of your life and have hip replacements."

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