Jen DeSimone: Running for Something Special

Completing the Boston Marathon is a big achievement. One Manchester resident is looking to become one of just 17 people to complete the race 25 years in a row.

Jen DeSimone beams at the 2020 Boston Marathon.
Jen DeSimone beams at the 2020 Boston Marathon.
(Courtesy photo)

Successfully completing the Boston Marathon is a true accomplishment for many Cape Ann residents who run or walk those 26.2 miles from Hopkinton to downtown Boston.  This year Manchester’s Jennifer DeSimone, a veteran of the race, will be running the 128th Boston Marathon for something more: a rare spot in the event’s “Quarter Century Club.”

The Boston Athletic Association (B.A.A.) has organized the Boston Marathon since its inception in 1897.  It is the world’s oldest annual marathon and has become both an American classic as well as an incomparable road race with great traditions.  Hundreds of thousands line the course each year.  

A long-time avid runner, DeSimone will be looking on Monday to complete her 25th consecutive Boston Marathon, a feat that would place her in truly rare company.

Moreover, relatively few runners have ever attained such a lengthy streak.  

A marathoner’s year of preparation is full of regular sets of short- and long-distance runs, and these runs can easily result in hundreds or even thousands of miles of getting ready.  Typically, the routine includes a practice run in the 20-mile range as race day nears – a distance more than most of us could ever accomplish.  And for the day of the race, one cannot be sick, injured, or otherwise unavailable for this grueling effort.  

The B.A.A.’s Quarter Century Club (QCC) was established to honor those who are able to finish 25 consecutive Boston Marathons.  

These streaks are rare.  Mark Buciak of Chicago, the president of the QCC, reports that there are only 120 active streaks from among the thousands of people who have competed in the race.  If Jen completes the 2024 Boston Marathon, she will become just the eighteenth woman in the world to be a member of the QCC.

So, keep your fingers crossed for each of the runners and hope for fair weather this coming Monday, April 15.  It is a special marathon for everyone who participates, but an extra special one for our Jen.