New Brunswick

Legs for Literacy will complete marathon man's world record

The Legs for Literacy marathon in Moncton on Sunday will mark a special milestone for Richard Holmes.

Richard Holmes has run marathons in every Canadian province and territory not once, but four times

Richard Holmes of North Carolina says he has a particular fondness for running marathons in Canada. (François LeBlanc/Radio Canada)

The Legs for Literacy marathon in Moncton on Sunday will mark a special milestone for Richard Holmes.

When he scratches New Brunswick off the list Sunday, the 66-year-old North Carolina man will become the first person to complete a marathon in all 13 provinces and territories not once, but four times.

That's "four in Nunavut, four in the Yukon, four in the Northwest Territories, four in every province," Holmes said.

"A long time ago, I looked and said 'what world records could I achieve in my lifetime?' And this was one."

25 countries a year

He runs marathons in about 25 countries a year — 89 in total and counting, he said — but has a particular fondness for Canada.

A long time ago, I looked and said what world records could I achieve in my lifetime. And this was one.– Richard Holmes

"Everywhere I've been in Canada, the people are great. Almost everywhere, the scenery is great," he said.

"We Americans tend to get a little opinionated or uptight or whatever. In Canada, people are much more laid back and tolerant."

Holmes plans to auction off the bibs, finishers medals and shirts from all 13 marathons for charity, to raise money for cancer.

Keeps him healthy

He runs marathons because he likes the social aspect, he said, but also because it helps keep him healthy. All the males in his family died of heart attacks 25 years before they reached his age, and he said he won't stop running until he has to.

"Sooner or later you die," he said, "and that slows you down."

Corrections

  • A previous version of this story said Richard Holmes completed 13 marathons in Canada this year. In fact, he says it took him about three years to complete them.
    Oct 23, 2016 10:50 AM AT

With files from François LeBlanc

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