Jeff proves he has the “Heart of a Lion” in Marathon #3

November 10th, 2014 by Danny Boren

How can one person run marathon after marathon, week after week?  How is the human body capable of such a sustained and continuous beating?  The answer is Heart.  Jeff Benelli has not only incredible physical abilities, but more importantly a heart that is filled with courage and purpose – and that heart was on display Sunday, November 9, when Jeff stepped to the line of the Gobbler Grind Marathon in Overland Park, Kansas.

Just 7 days after his last marathon, which Jeff described as the hardest thing he has ever done physically, he prepared to tackle another 26.2 miles on foot.  Over the first 12 miles of the marathon Jeff held pace to do a 3:40 marathon – but then his calves started to hurt and doubt began creeping in his mind as to whether he could finish with the growing pain in his calves.  Then Jeff recalled what a Sports Doctor had told him last week – “In endurance events . . . the body will only do what the body can do”.  Jeff said to himself “let’s test that theory!” and he pushed for the next 7 miles powering on despite the growing pain in his calves.

At mile 17 Jeff saw his family, and as he ran past his two boys he pounded his chest and shouted to them “I’m gonna get under 4:00 boys . . . heart of a lion, HEART OF A LION!”  But by mile 19 Jeff was feeling that his ‘lion’s roar’ was closer to a ‘cat’s meow’, as he battled through pain and searched for more leg strength after his multiple back-to-back marathons.

He pushed through the last 7 miles of the race, finishing in 4:15 and claiming 7th in his age group.  When the race was over Jeff turned to his boys and said “I gave it all I had boys.  I just had nothing left.”

Help support Jeff’s amazing 4 marathons in 5 weeks as he races to end blindness cause by CHM . . . the final race in the series, the Philadelphia Marathon, will happen on Sunday November 23 – show your support today!