News Feature

Blue Hill
Originally published in The Weekly Packet, May 3, 2018
Runner completes two marathons in one day
Raises over $7,000

Keeping the pace

Runner Phil LeBreton keeps a roughly 8.2 minute mile pace for a 52 mile run that helped to raise more than $7,000.

Photo by Faith DeAmbrose Order prints of selected PBP photos.

by Monique Labbe

After 7 hours, 32 minutes and 26 seconds, Phil LeBreton crossed the imaginary finish line of a 52.4 mile double marathon at the Blue Hill YMCA.

The finish line was imaginary because LeBreton, who is an avid runner, completed the marathons on a treadmill.

“1 Man, 2 Marathons” was a challenge created by LeBreton to raise money for youth programs at the YMCA and in the community. In total, he was able to raise $7,200, $2,200 over his $5,000 goal.

LeBreton started his marathon at 6 a.m., connected from his cell phone via Bluetooth to a screen in front of his treadmill that monitored his progress. Four and a half hours later, he hit 26.2 miles; one marathon down.

Throughout the day, friends and community members were in and out of the building, cheering him on, running or walking on the treadmill next to him and signing a card by the door.

One of those people included Matt Mattson, who came in with four miles to go. Mattson hopped on the treadmill next to LeBreton and gave the runner a fist bump.

“Let’s finish this together,” he said to LeBreton.

With two miles to go, LeBreton, who had been all smiles for most of the run and had talked to people with ease, became quiet and focused. As he got quieter, the crowd got louder, as cheers of “go Phil” and “you can do it Phil” rang through the room. Then, with “Mama I’m Coming Home” by Ozzy Osborne playing in the background, LeBreton hit 52.4 miles; two marathons completed.

“[I would say] 80 percent of the difficulty was mental,” said LeBreton after the race. “I just had to push through it.”

LeBreton said that the decision to have people run next to him made him able to continue at a better pace.

“There was a point where no one was in here for an hour, and it just kind of dragged,” he said. “When people were running next to me, it was a good distraction and it made it go by a little quicker.”

LeBreton burned 5,848 calories during the run and kept an average pace of 8.2 minutes a mile.

“It feels like the biggest accomplishment of my life,” he said. “It’s very fulfilling.”