News Feature

Blue Hill
Originally published in The Weekly Packet, April 12, 2018
Blue Hill runner to take on two marathons in same day

Training in the cold

Phil LeBreton runs in the Bridge the Gap race in Bucksport on a frigid April 8th morning.

Photo courtesy of Phil LeBreton

by Monique Labbe

For many avid runners, the hours spent during the year learning to train the muscles and perfecting breathing techniques are for the opportunity to cross the finish line of a marathon. A marathon, by definition, is a 26.2-mile road race.

Blue Hill YMCA personal trainer and running enthusiast Phil LeBreton has decided to kick that up a notch, as part of a fundraiser to raise money for youth in Blue Hill.

“1 Man, 2 Marathons, 1 Day” is an event LeBreton came up with a few months ago, to bring in money for youth programs both at the YMCA and in the community. True to its title, LeBreton will run two marathons, a total of 54 miles, in one day, on a treadmill at the YMCA.

“I wanted to give back to the community,” said LeBreton. “At first I thought about running 100 miles, but I got talked out of it.”

A training partner mentioned the idea of two marathons in the same day, and LeBreton ran with it. A mile-runner competitor at the Olympic Trials in 1992, LeBreton said that training to run such a great distance has been a “different breed.”

“I ran a 10-mile race in Bucksport over the weekend, and it felt really different,” he said. “It was like I was stuck in second gear because training for a much longer race, you don’t really kick into a different gear at all.”

The distance LeBreton will be running on the treadmill is the equivalent of running from the Blue Hill YMCA, to the Ellsworth YMCA, over to the Bucksport YMCA and back to Blue Hill. Should he finish, the distance will also be a personal best for LeBreton.

For the fundraiser, LeBreton will begin his run at 6:01 a.m., and continue on until he hits the 54-mile mark. To raise the money, people can sign up for half hour time slots at $20 per slot, during which time they will run or walk next to LeBreton. Donations can also be made per mile, or simply as just a flat donation. Businesses in Blue Hill can do a corporate sponsorship of $200, which will get their company’s logo on a T-shirt. Anyone who runs or walks beside LeBreton will receive one.

“We want this to be a fun thing,” said Blue Hill YMCA Fitness Center director Joy Bragdon. “People see exercise as stressful, and we want to show them that it can really be fun.”

LeBreton said he is excited for the event, but that he is also grateful for the people who will be at his side while he is running.

“It’s pretty monotonous,” he said of the running. “It will be nice to have people there to break that up.”

LeBreton has a goal of $5,000, and with just under three weeks before the big day, fundraising has already hit $2,000.

“Whether you can donate 10 cents or $100, the difference you can make for the area youth is priceless,” said LeBreton.

LeBreton’s run will begin at 6:01 a.m. Monday, April 30 at the YMCA. For more information, see the event via the Blue Hill YMCA Fitness Center’s Facebook page at