Huff to Bluff Marathon is a world class race in San Juan County
by Georgiana Kennedy Simpson
May 16, 2012 | 5373 views | 0 0 comments | 163 163 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The second running of the Huff to Bluff Marathon will take place Saturday, May 19. Local runners already know the joy and beauty of San Juan County running. Marathoners from halfway around the world are beginning to recognize it, too.

Hajime Nishi, from Chiba, Japan, will claim the Huff to Bluff as his 614th marathon. He is on a 60-year mission to enjoy running and reporting on 1,000 marathons in 250 countries and regions.

In 1997, he became the first person to run marathons on each of the seven continents in seven months. After the Wall Street Journal called him “One of the World’s Most Accomplished Runners”, he created his “Slow Running Philosophy”, a unique running style encompassing his vision for the environment, human rights, and world peace.

His mantra is “One People, One Planet”. Ultimately, he will publish the Ecomarathon Data Book, a marathon guidebook with green ratings.

On Friday at 7 p.m. at the Blanding Arts and Events Center, honored guest Benji Durden, a world class marathoner and coach, will speak.

According to John A. Kissane in a Running Times article, Durden came to prominence at the height of American distance running, recording 25 sub-2:20 marathons in less than a decade, with a personal record of 2:09:58. He qualified for the 1980 U.S. Olympic team, was ranked in the U.S. top 10 six straight years, and was #7 in the world in 1982.

Durden went on to develop a coaching business in Boulder, CO, handling world class runners including Kim Jones, a marathoner ranked as high as #3 in the world. “Everybody involved with running and racing in Colorado loves Benji,” Jones says. “He’s there at most of the races, encouraging people to finish. He put a lot of time and effort into the sport for himself, and now he’s giving something back.”

Benji Durden’s race timing and scoring services is the official timer for the Huff to Bluff Marathon, making it an official Boston Marathon qualifying event. We thank Rhett Maughan and Blue Mountain Chiropractic for sponsoring Benji’s talk.

Join them Saturday morning. The race starts in Blanding at 6 a.m. and ends in front of Bluff Elementary School. Along the way, you may spot Hajime Nishi who calls himself the “Ultimate Japanese Tourist”, stopping at least a hundred times along the course to soak in our sandstone beauty and enjoy the friendliness of San Juan County runners, volunteers, and spectators.
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