Ron Marinucci November Column: "100 Marathons Recap"

Ron Marinucci November Column: "100 Marathons Recap"

100!!!  October 16’s Detroit Free Press Marathon marked the successful conclusion of both Donna Swanson’s and Mike Webster’s (sister-in-law/brother-in-law) quests to run one hundred marathons.

Each commented on the “perfect” and “comfortable” weather of that Sunday morning.  They also appreciated the new parts of the marathon course.  Swanson noted, “I really enjoyed the course,”  citing “the Ambassador Bridge, Eastern Market, the Dequindre Cut, Indian Village, and the Campus Martius finish.  It was one of the best organized and run marathons I’ve done!”—and remember she’s done one hundred of them.  

Webster added, “The new additions…helped break up the mile into more reasonable chunks, running from one new part to the next.”

She was happy, too, with her “best time of the last four marathons.”  That led to a second-place finish in her age-group.

He had no time goals and that allowed him to stop on the course to chat with supportive friends.  He admitted, “I even stopped and had a beer, well more like half a beer, with some residents having a big party in Indian Village.”

Highlights for both included having so many friends and family members come to cheer them on and celebrate.  Webster’s youngest daughter, Katie, made a surprise flight in from Florida for the weekend.  “She was on the course to support Donna and me.  I was very touched.”

Swanson’s youngest niece also flew in from Florida, surprise!, and she was “thrilled my entire family was there.”  That included her 91-year old mother!

Afterward, the sister-in-law and brother-in-law were joined by a group of about fifty family and friends to celebrate with pizza and drinks.  “It was great,” he recounted “talking with all of them and having them share in our celebration.”  She added, “It was quite a party!”

Still basking in their feat, both are making plans for their running futures.  Webster has earmarked “a couple of local 5K and 10K races this November.”  He’s also put half marathons in Florida on his November and February racing calendar.  Still a marathoner, “I already have a marathon picked out for April 2023.”

For her part, Swanson is not quite as specific.  Her future holds running a couple of half marathons every year.  “My main goal will be to do 25 miles or more per week year-round,” with “one or two long runs, ten to twelve miles, so when I want to run a half marathon, I’ll be ready.”  Her activities will also include walking, hiking, and snowshoeing.

Congratulations to Donna Swanson and Mike Webster!!!!!

One of my favorite races has always been Roseville’s Big Bird Runs.  If I recall correctly, I’ve run 31 of the last 33 Big Birds, including the virtual race in 2020.  The two I missed were solely due to out-of-town family weddings.   The Big Bird offers a festive jump start to my holiday season and proceeds go to local service organizations.

This year’s 44th Big Bird is Sunday, November 13 and offers a couple of new twists.  Most significant is the addition of a 5K race to replace the former 4K.  The 10K remains.

Race director Tony Lipinski explained.  “We’ve been toying with that [a 5K race] for the past few years.  A 5K is a more universal run.  We finally decided to pull the trigger.”  The course will follow much of the old 4K course.

The new 5K will have “up to six or seven age-groups.”  There is a slight change in race start times.  As usual, the one-mile run/walk opens events at 10:00 AM.  New, the 10K starts at 10:15, followed by the 5K ten minutes later.

As of the end of October, Lipinski enthused, “5K registration is outpacing the 10K.”

More Big Bird information can be found online at or by calling 586-445-5480.