No one will mistake Paul Gavriani for Eliud Kipchoge when it comes to competing in marathons.
Kipchoge is the Kenyan runner who broke the two-hour marathon barrier, coming in at 1 hour, 59 minutes, 40 seconds in Vienna last week. Gavriani admits that he does not run marathons for time achievements. The New York resident completes marathons in volume. Quantity is quality for him.
Gavriani, 52, is scheduled to complete his 100th marathon at the 36th annual Duke City Marathon on Sunday as part of his goal of running marathons in 50 states, 50 countries and seven continents. He is among many runners who are members of the 50 States Marathon Club entered in the 26.2-mile event, said Burt Trembly, a Duke City Marathon board member who has been affiliated with the marathon for 16 years.
For Gavriani, New Mexico will be his 42nd state on his way to 50 states. He has competed in the major marathons of New York, Boston, Chicago, London, Berlin and Tokyo, and will be running in his fifth marathon in 14 days. He said he his grateful his colleagues cover for him when he’s away from the real estate firm he works for in Manhattan. He does a lot of work remotely, as well.
“I think it’s a great way to do day trips and get a feel for that location’s culture,” Gavriani said of his marathon tour. “I’m pretty active when I hit the ground. I take a ton of pictures. I’m working on a website and a book for marathon runners about destinations. It’s a great way to plan a trip and learn about the world.”
For now Gavriani has a website of his tour, seepaulrun.com, and he’s working on a blog that will feature reviews.
Stories such as the one of Gavriani make Trembly proud.
Trembly said the Duke City Marathon has included approximately 5,000 runners and walkers in each of the past five years. He expects the same numbers this year.
The entrants are spread across seven races (marathon, marathon relay, half marathon, 10-kilometer run, 10K walk, 5K run and 5K walk). They will be competing in somewhat favorable conditions, as temperatures are expected to be in the 65-degree range, yet amid winds of up to 19 mph.
The marathon finishes and ends at the Civic Plaza downtown and includes the Bosque trail and Rio Grande Boulevard. Relay marathoners take to a trail along the Sandia mountains.
Solomon Kandie, a five-time winner of the Duke City Marathon, is entered in the marathon relay, said Trembly, who believes the men’s and women’s marathons will be wide-open races.
Trembly said he is expecting an uptick in entrants for the 10K races, about a 20-percent upgrade from last year. Part of the reason for that is that finishers in the 10K run and 10K walk will receive a medal.
“It will be the biggest 10K for us for sure,” Trembly said.
Duke City Marathon T-shirts have been popular at the event, Trembly said, and for the first time there will be cut shirts for men and women.
“We are very proud of the (Duke City Marathon),” Trembly said. “We’re the longest-running marathon in New Mexico. There are three great events in the fall, the State Fair, Balloon Fiesta, and us.”