By Ed Karvoski Jr., Culture Editor
HUDSON – Dan Milton of Hudson has already achieved one of his goals. He ran all six of the Abbott-sponsored World Marathon Majors: Boston; Chicago; New York City; Berlin, Germany; London and Tokyo. Now, he’s on the road to realizing another goal.
Milton finished his 24th Boston Marathon in 2019 and did 2020’s virtual version. He’s currently preparing to run his 25th in-person Boston Marathon, rescheduled to Monday, Oct. 11.
“For over 20 years, I’ve been talking about doing 25 of these and I’m finally going to do it,” he said of Boston Marathons. “It’s what has kept me running for over 27 years.”
An interest in running began for Milton in his late 20s when a niece shared an observation at Thanksgiving dinner.
“She said, ‘You’ve got a big stomach,’” he recounted. “I didn’t like hearing that, so I decided to start running.”
With little training, Milton participated in his first Boston Marathon in 1995.
“I didn’t know anything about running at the time,” he acknowledged. “I just wanted to see what the marathon was like. I showed up at the starting line in my Converse high-top basketball sneakers.”
About five hours later, he reached the finish line.
“I was amazed how excited everyone got watching runners,” he recalled. “That’s what brought me back again.”
World Marathon Majors
Milton expanded his major marathons geographically to Chicago in 2008. Meanwhile, he continued in Boston.
At 2013’s Boston Marathon, he finished a few minutes before the bombs exploded.
“My family usually hangs out right where the bombs went off,” Milton relayed. “They didn’t make it there that year, thank God.”
When Milton also finished 2013’s New York City Marathon, he had completed half of the six World Marathon Majors.
“I figured, ‘Why stop now?’’ he asked himself. “Let’s do them all.”
Six days after running his 19th Boston Marathon, Milton completed 2015’s London Marathon. No longer sporting basketball sneakers, he wore a head camera and videoed London sites while running.
“I was able to get the Tower of London on the video,” he noted. “It was pretty wild, going across the iconic Tower Bridge – I had tears in my eyes.”
Later in 2015, he ran the Berlin Marathon. It marked his third major marathon in different countries in one year.
Milton completed all six World Marathon Major in 2016 when he finished the Tokyo Marathon.
“It’s a great feeling to set your mind to do something and accomplish it,” he shared. “Who flies 14 hours away from their home to run a marathon? Obviously, I do. I love running!”
Memorable 2020 virtual marathon
Milton would have loved his 25th Boston Marathon to take place in 2020 on the roads from Hopkinton to Boston. However, the 2020 pandemic restrictions postponed the race from April to September and from in-person to virtual.
Yet, Milton managed to incorporate a Boston Marathon landmark into his virtual race along with five friends. His Hudson home was also included.
“The distance from outside my house to the starting line of the Boston Marathon in Hopkinton is exactly 13.1 miles – a half-marathon,” he explained. “We ran to the starting line, turned around and ran back to my house for our virtual marathon.”
Celebrating 125th Boston Marathon
Now, he’s drawing on nearly three decades of running experience as he trains for the 125th Boston Marathon – his 25th in-person.
Milton has run a total of about 60 marathons. His best finish time is 3:15:47. In Boston, his best is 3:19:40.
“It has always been about qualifying for the Boston Marathon, so I can get closer to my 25th,” he noted. “I’m relieved to finally get there.”
Photos/Ed Karvoski Jr.