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Don Cuddy qualified for his first of nine Boston Marathons running on a certified course in a Prison

"My first Boston marathon was in 1992." says Don Cuddy. "I’d sailed my boat to New England from San Diego, arriving in the fall of 1990 and running Boston ranked very high on the list of things I wished to accomplish. I was 39 and to obtain a number, the BAA required me to run a sub-3:15 qualifier. So 1991 became all about running. I targeted the Marine Corps marathon in D.C. that November for my qualifying race. Alas, my inexperience proved costly. I ran too fast, too early and finished in 3:19. On my return I discovered there was to be another marathon just two weeks later on a .44-mile running track at Bridgewater State Prison. Apparently the warden was an enthusiast. So I went inside the walls for the Chain Gang marathon. It wasn’t even an oval track. There was a dogleg on the back stretch around a guard tower. It was a certified course however and a prisoner with a clipboard was assigned to tally the required 58 3/4 laps. I can only marvel now at the fact that I managed to run a 3:12. The warden also had a sense of humor. The race shirt pictured a runner with a ball and chain on one leg. Unlike the chap with the clipboard, they let me out after the race and I was on my way to Hopkinton." (04/15/2018) ⚡AMP

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