And you thought just doing the race was tough: Dan Marinsik
By Steve Matsuda
Imagine running the world’s toughest marathon… about two months after being diagnosed with a brain tumor. That’s what happened last year to Dan Marinsik of San Jose, California. His wife Lily remembers exactly when she heard the news. It was Mother’s Day.
Understandably, Dan’s family wasn’t all that thrilled about his decision to postpone surgery in order to participate in the 2003 Badwater Ultramarathon. But, he had invested so much time and effort into training for the race and wanted to follow through with his pledge to raise money for the Challenged Athletes Foundation, so he ran the race.
Amazingly, he completed the 135 mile race last year in about 53 hours. But because of the tumor, he was very conservative during the race, wondering if the normal problems experienced by runners in this grueling event, were in fact manifestations of his condition.
Dan did have successful surgery and about a month later, he competed a 3 day race around Lake Tahoe. He’s back at Badwater again this year with a goal of completing to the course in less than 48 hours, earning a much coveted belt buckle for a sub-48 hour finish. His crew consists of his wife Lily, nephew Chris and friends Stephen and George.
Dan says the only lingering affect of his surgery is that his smile is a little different. Marinsik finished the race this year in 45:31, a tremendous improvement over last year, Dan has earned his buckle and brought smiles to the faces of his friends and family.