Jimmy Magee, of Conway, will run the Marine Corps Marathon to honor father's legacy

When most people run a marathon, the ending is the hardest part. The combination of all the miles, the blisters that form, and the amount of energy expended make finishing strong difficult for most people when they run such a race. There’s a reason medical personnel are waiting to help people as soon as they finish the 26.2 mile course, in addition to those who are stationed along the course. But 58-year-old Jimmy Magee, of Conway, Arkansas, is hoping to be the exception to this. The pediatrician is running the race to honor his father, a World War II veteran who died 20 years ago. “He fought on Iwo Jima, so I was particularly intrigued by the Marine Corps Marathon not because I was in the Marines but because my dad was,” Magee said. “I think it’s unique and especially meaningful to me that this marathon actually ends at the Iwo Jima Memorial. That has a special meaning to me.” Corporal Kenneth Magee served in the 5th Marine Division, which was part of the invasion of Iwo Jima in 1945. The statue, overlooking the Potomac River, of those soldiers struggling to mount a waving flag atop a hill is an iconic memorial to those who suffered through an especially bloody, and deadly, weekslong battle. Corporal Magee survived it, but just barely. Training for the race is hard enough, but the summer and early fall in Arkansas has been hot and humid this year, he said. He admits grueling is the word that applies, but “thinking about the number of hours I’m putting in doing it, it doesn’t even hold a candle to what the soldiers went through and what our dad went through,” he said.

posted Tuesday October 16th