He’s a maniac, maniac …. #2484

Posted: May 12, 2010 in Training
Tags: , , ,

With a pick-up truck bed full of Mule Grass, 5 bags of topsoil and 12 bags of mulch I was finally on my way home from work on Monday.  Normally I would pull right into the drive and start unloading the truck as “yard work 2010” is almost finished.  But I decided to stop by the mailboxes on the way to the house and check the mail. 

This is a duty that usually belongs to my wife, but with her out in D.C. for work this week, I thought I would make a quick stop and pick up some “good husband points” along the way. 

Afterall, happy wife = happy life.  Especially if you are fortunate enough to find someone who would put up with a husband who says things like, “I think I’m going to run two marathons in 13 days this spring …. what do you think?”

I reached into the box to find the usual bills, election notices, catalogs and a soft package.  Immediately I thought, “baby clothes” – dropped the bundle onto the front seat of the Ford and drove on to the house.

With Kayla jumping up and down, wondering why I was 45 minutes later than usual to get her dinner ready – more mulch I told her – I started sorting the mail.  To my surprise it was not more baby clothes on Monday, but a package from my new friends out in Washington State.

Could it be? 

Most of you who have been following along since I started writing back in November know that running two major marathons in 13 days this spring was my way of helping my good friend Dom and his family battle cancer.  The effort was everything I thought it would be – both physically demanding but immensely rewarding.  To date RFD has raised more than $22,000 and counting.

We have made numerous friends from all over the US, Canada and Internationally, with friends and donors from 21 states and 8 countries.

But as we crossed the finish line at the Pittsburgh Marathon on May 2nd we also earned our way into an exclusive group.  The Marathon Maniacs.

Steve, Chris and Tony – the “Main Maniacs” started the group 7 years ago this month.  A group where the “craziness” of running 26.2 miles because you simply want to, is not viewed as a strange affliction, it is celebrated!  Now this is a hard-core group of marathoners, let me tell you.  On Tuesday of this week the membership was at 2,505 Maniacs and counting.

Marathon Maniac Singlets!

My “double” gained me entry into the first level of the Insane Asylum – the Bronze level.  There are eight more levels to climb above bronze that get increasingly more “insane” for lack of a better word.

The membership levels and their criteria are:

Bronze Level:

2 Marathons within a 16-day time frame.

3 Marathons within a 90-day time frame.

Silver Level:

3 Marathons within a 16 day time frame.

6 Marathons in 6 consecutive calendar months.

8-11 Marathons within 365 days.

Gold Level:

4 Marathons within 37 days.

12-18 Marathons within 365 days.

4 Marathons in 4 different states, Countries or Canadian Provinces within 51 days.

Iridium Level:

4 Marathons in 23 days.

19-25 Marathons within 365 days.

2 Marathons in 2 days (must finish both races!)

9 Marathons in 9 different states, Countries or Canadian Provinces within 365 days.

Ruthenium Level:

3 Marathons in 3 days.

26-30 Marathons within 365 days.

4 Marathons within 9 days.

3 Marathons in 3 different states, Countries or Canadian Provinces within 10 days.

13 Marathons in 13 different states, Countries or Canadian Provinces within 365 days.

Osmium Level:

31-37 Marathons within 365 days.

16 Marathons in 16 different states, Countries or Canadian Provinces within 365 days.

6 Marathons within 16 days.

Palladium Level:

38-44 Marathons within 365 days.

20 Marathons in 20 different states, Countries or Canadian Provinces within 365 days.

13 Marathons within 79 days.

Platinum Level:

41-51 Marathons within 365 days.

23 Marathons in 23 different states, Countries or Canadian Provinces within 365 days.

28 Marathons within 183 days.

Titanium Level:

52 Marathons or more within 365 days.

30 Marathons in 30 different states, Countries or Canadian Provinces within 365 days.

20 Countries within 365 days.

Because the criteria stipulates that these races must be “official events” and that training runs do not count – the logistics to achieve some of the above levels are incredible.  Racing on both Saturday and Sunday in the same weekend becomes necessary to achieve many of the levels above.  Incredible.

Coming soon to a race near you!

So what’s next for this soon to be new Dad?  It’s tough to say.  When I am asked questions like that I have to think back to 2004 when I ran my first tentative mile.  Those were the first steps on the way to losing 51 pounds and regaining the fitness level of my youth.  If you told me then that today not only would I be a Marathoner, but a Marathon Maniac, I would have said that you were the one who was insane. 

I’ve come to realize that saying, “never” is just no longer in my vocabulary.  I learned that one from Dom.  So while the thought of running 6 marathons in 6 consecutive calendar months or 12 marathons in a year sound “crazy” today, it may seem very different tomorrow.

All you need is a reason to try, a reason to run and a chance to make a difference.  If you have those things in your heart and mind, absolutely anything is possible.

Except for those Titanium Maniacs …. everyone know’s they’re nuts.

For more information about the maniacs visit:


  1. Ariana says:

    Congrats! That is pretty amazing, crazy, but amazing! 🙂

    • joerunfordom says:

      Hi Ariana! Thanks for the visit. It’s pretty cool to be part of a group where I am one of the least “insane” runners I know. Pretty refreshing! Best from Austin, Joe

  2. Jim in Wells says:

    Congratulations Joe … you earned it. As you are aware I have recently re-entered the world of running but 18 years ago I run 3 marathons in 5 weeks. Paced a friend through Milwaukee to a 3:50 (in his 4 previous attempts he had 2 DNF and 2 4:30 and he wanted to break 4 hours). That was also my last long run for my target marathon: Chicago two weeks later where I set my PR of 3:28. Then a couple weeks after that I run with a friend who was doing his first marathon down in St. Louis. He ended up at 3:42 as he left me at about 24 miles and I finished at 3:51 as those last couple of miles were killers. Ceratinly not as noble as your recent undertaking but the craziest running thing I ever did for sure.

    Love your blog. Keep it up — and enjoy Dadhood – it is blast!


    • joerunfordom says:

      Jim – thanks so much for stopping by – hope all is well! That is some serious racing! Very, very impressive indeed. It’s funny that for me I feel like I could go out there in the next 30 days and really run a great time at another Marathon.

      Not sure if “addiction” is the right word – but something bordering on that. It is such a great test the marathon – both mental and physical at the same time. There really is nothing quite like it.

      I’ve got a couple of short races coming up and then it’s time to really get serious about this new-Dad stuff that will greet me in September. I am really getting excited to meet that little lady! I guess a jogging stroller is something in my near future.

      Take good care Jim! Best, Joe

  3. onelittlejill says:

    You totally earned it!!!

    Going for titanium any time soon?!?!?! 😉

    • joerunfordom says:

      Hi Jill! I think I better start shopping Divorce Attorneys if I mention anything above Silver to Dawn! She’s a patient woman, but we all have our limits! Thanks for the visit! J

  4. Lara says:

    Yeah, I agree… some of those people are NUTS! Bronze is a good level to achieve. Anything else is certifiably insane or they just have WAY too much time on their hands.

    • joerunfordom says:

      Amazing there are over 2,500 members and counting Lara! Just incredible. I’m looking forward to “representing” the Maniacs by wearing the colors at my next race. Should earn me some stares if nothing else! Take good care, J

  5. Greg Goebel says:

    Great blog! Welcome to the asylum (albeit a couple of months late)! I once thought Titanium people were nuts too. Now they seem pretty normal – it is the extreme ultra-runners that I KNOW are nuts. Keep running and I hope to cross paths with you at a race soon.

    • joerunfordom says:

      Greg – Thanks so much for the visit and the message! It is funny over the last 5 years or so the things I no longer think are “nuts” —– I can only imagine where this is headed for me! Would love to catch up at a race – my next full will be Austin here locally in February with the baby on the way in about 8 weeks, I’ll be staying pretty close to home until then. Best to you! J

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