‘It’s part of my life’: NC mayor completes 106 marathons in 37 years

North Carolina news

CONCORD, N.C. (WJZY) – While millions of people enjoyed watching the Olympics this summer, there is one local athlete people in the Charlotte metro area might not expect. It’s Concord’s 68-year-old Mayor Bill Dusch.

In his 37 years of running, Dusch has completed 106 marathons, including races in all 50 states and five continents.

“We have South America and Australia left,” said Dusch. “I started running because my wife was pregnant with our first child and one night in bed, there was a commercial about pinching an inch. And she reached over and said, ‘I can grab a foot!’

The next day, Mayor Dusch laced up his sneakers and hasn’t stopped running since. In his first year, he lost 45 pounds. Now, he says it’s just something he loves to do.

“I have run as many as 10 a year. Before the pandemic, I was running usually four or five a year,” he said.

His races have taken him to Antarctica, the Great Wall of China, and South Africa. He’s made memories every step of the way.

“Medoc, France, was very unique because it was through the vineyard of France and it had 22 wine stops,” said Dusch.

The mayor also tries to share his love of running with those he serves, through his own weekly running club at The Cabarrus Brewing Company.

“In Concord, we had this challenge last year of doing a billion steps. My run club, my challenge group, ended up doing 250 million steps of that billion steps,” he said.

He’s also used his hobby to raise money for the United Way. A few years back, Dusch lined up sponsors to donate anywhere from two cents to a dollar for every person he passed in the Savannah Marathon. He ended up raising around $15,000.

At 68 years old, Dusch says his times may be a bit slower, but he has no plans of giving up his passion.

“It’s just one of those things that…it’s part of my life,” said Dusch. “I want to be able to do it for as long as I can.”

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