A run for the ageless

Imagine if Tom Brady donned his Patriots uniform in the year 2068 and tossed a touchdown pass to teammate Rob Gronkowski, or if Red Sox rightfielder Mookie Betts stepped up to the plate at Fenway that same year and smacked a double off the Green Monster.

On Monday, Mystic's Amby Burfoot defied age and proved his heart still beats like a champion after he ran the Boston Marathon an astonishing half-century after winning the celebrated foot race in 1968. Only a handful of former Boston victors have even attempted such a feat.

Burfoot, now 71, overcame not just the course's punishing Heartbreak Hill but brutal conditions this Patriot's Day — torrential rain and a pummeling headwind — that literally brought many runners to their knees.

"It was tough out there, but I just let the magnet of Boston pull me home," he told a gathering of fellow runners, friends and family at Olde Mistick Village Wednesday night. They were there to celebrate Burfoot's remarkable run and the release of his sixth book, aptly titled "Run Forever: Your Complete Guide to Healthy Lifetime Running."

Burfoot, retired executive editor of Runner's World magazine and now a senior writer, was so exhausted after winning in 1968 he barely remembers the ceremony in which the Boston mayor placed a laurel crown on his head.

But back home after this Monday's race he looked none the worse for wear. Clearly he is not one to rest on his laurels.

The ever-gracious and humble Burfoot reflects the qualities that exemplified his former high school cross-country coach, the late Johnny Kelley, who won the Boston Marathon in 1957 and inspired generations of runners.

Congratulations, Amby. May you indeed run forever. 

The editorial board is composed of the publisher and four journalists of varied editing and reporting backgrounds. The board's discussions and information gained from its meetings with political, civic, and business leaders drive the institutional voice of The Day, as expressed in its editorials. The editorial department operates separately from the newsroom.


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