Twelve years ago Bill Mandler from Pocatello set a goal to run 100 marathons before his fiftieth birthday. Well, still ten months to go till his birthday, but no need to worry because Saturday he ran across the finish line at Pocatello's Marathon accomplishing those 100 marathons.
"Today for me was just a big party. I knew it wasn't going to be my fastest race. I set this goal back in late 2001 and I just said to myself I really like doing this, I want to see if I can run a 100 marathons before my fiftieth birthday," said Bill Mandler, a Pocatello man who completed his 100th marathon on Saturday.
His training room is now filled with 100 t-shirts and medals from all around the United Sates each one representing a marathon. Mandler says that Saturday's race was quite different though than his first one.
"I ran a marathon with only 90 days of preparation and it was horrible. I couldn't walk and I didn't know anything about what to wear, eat, I had the wrong type of shoes and I also did a lot of walking the last eight miles and it took me four hours and 41 minutes," added Mandler.
Less than half of one percent of the population runs a marathon, but he says if you are thinking about running one his advice is to go slow and let your body work up to running 26.2 miles.
"The truth of the marathon is, getting yourself mentally prepared because you can do more than you think you can," said Mandler.
With all of his preparation and those 100 marathons he says he has run about 30 thousand miles. His fastest race was in Tucson in 2008 where he ran it in 2 hours and 53 minutes. He goes on to say though that a marathon is more than just a run, it's an experience that can change your life.
"I've had so much fun and I have meant so many great people. I have run these marathons all over this region and I run into the same people all the time and because of that I've developed some great friendships," said Mandler.
Even though he has run 100 marathons he's decided that he is going to continue to run, but instead of 8 or 10 a year he will only run his favorite marathons which add up to only two or three a year.