TIFT CO., GA (WALB) - For some people, running the Boston Marathon is a once in a lifetime event. But for Mike Beeman, once just wasn't enough.
"I've been doing it for 37 years," said Beeman. "I started in 1978 as a senior at Merrimack College."
Beeman is 58 going into his 38th marathon. And though he isn't getting any faster, the native New Englander still enjoys racing in the event he's been around all his life.
"That was my backyard for 47 years before I moved down here in 2003.," said Beeman. "And, just, I'm in love with the marathon."
This will be Beeman's first marathon as an Assistant Track and Field Coach at Tift County High School. He said his experience has helped him earn the respect of his kids.
"Doesn't matter how fast I run, really. Or, how fast I ran," said Beeman. "It's the fact that, I think, what I tell them to do means more because I've done it. So, it has credibility."
And runners have responded to that credibility, like senior Aquila Hayes.
"I think he's a beast," said Beeman. "He's getting up there and he can still run. Seeing him go to the Boston Marathon is really gonna help me want to win Region for him. Make him proud."
Beeman said he has put in a lot of work to get to number 38, and hopes it motivates his students both on and off the track.
"When you get to the finish of the Boston Marathon you say, 'yeah, that was worth it, that was ok,'" said Beeman. "When you tell children, as a role model, you say,'you've gotta work hard to achieve something,' you can back it up."