First Marathon Down – 3 to go for Jeff Benelli
October 19th, 2014 by Danny Boren
At 7:05 am in the morning on Saturday October 18 – the start gun fired and Jeff Benelli was off on his first of 4 marathon’s in 5 weeks all to raise funds to help cure Choroideremia. The Kansas City Marathon began before first light, making the first few miles especially difficult for Jeff as he started running in the dark. Keeping his hands out in front of him to help make space in order to avoid running into other marathoners, required added effort on top of the monumental challenge of taking on 26.2 miles of running. Once the sun came up some of this stress eased, but due to Jeff’s significantly reduced visual field he needed to stay “on alert” throughout the entire race. Normally on a long run an athlete will be able to “turn off” some of their thinking and mental focus as they enter “the zone” where their body takes over, allowing the racer to put miles behind them through a significant part of the event. Unfortuneately Jeff did not have this luxury, throughout the entire race he needed to be intensely focused both physically and mentally in order to avoid bumping into athletes around him. This added strain forced him into a pace slightly below his goal pace after mile 13 of the event. But throughout the entire race Jeff laid it all on the line, and gave everything that he had. When he crossed the finish line, fighting cramps in his hamstrings and mental exhaustion – Jeff had placed 18th in his Division (of more than 70 racers), and in the top 20% of racers overall in the Marathon! His final time for the Kansas City Marathon was a BLAZING FAST 3:48!