Tift Co. teacher headed back for 37th Boston marathon
TIFTON, GA (WALB) -
A Tift County High School teacher won't let last year's bombingkeep him from running in his 37th straight Boston marathon.
The BostonMarathon is less than three weeks away and Mike Beeman says he is determined tocomplete the 26.2 mile race and make it to the finish line.
Teacher and avid runner, Mike Beeman is on track, training to runthe 2014 Boston Marathon.
"The key is the long run. Every other weekend doing a buildupof 16 to 23 miles," said Mike Beeman.
Beeman takes that dedication to his students in the classroom.
"He always laughs, talks to the kids and always wants to jokearound, but he knows how to get serious," said Grant Metts.
Beeman is no stranger to the Boston Marathon. This will make his37th run.
"He wouldn't tell you how good of a runner actually is, butyou know because of all his accomplishments. I just want to say good luck toMr. B." said Grant Metts.
Last year, Beeman was on the course, less than a half mile fromthe finish line, when the bombs exploded.
"If you don't go back after you've qualified or able to go back,the bad people win. And I don't want the bad people to win, you know thosetragedies can happen anywhere, anyplace, anytime," said Mike Beeman.
Beeman says his students are in total support of his efforts toget another medal in Boston.
"The genuine care and enthusiasm is second to none. Theysupport me like I'm their dad or in some cases granddad," said MikeBeeman.
"You hear stories every day, from dogs chasing him, runningin the rain and getting attacked by skunks," said Annalee Atwater.
Beeman says his daughter will attend the race with him again thisyear.
"We were separated at the finish line, so it's kind of alittle bit of a closure for my daughter Melanie," said Mike Beeman.
Beeman says nothing will stop him attending the 118th annualrace.
After the Boston marathon, Mike Beeman will have a career total of97 marathons.