Marathon runner to hit 50th race with Boston Marathon

Jan. 31—It has been 24 years since Jeff Burroughs ran his first marathon in 1999. On April 17, Burroughs will compete in his 50th race alongside his son Jesse when they travel to Boston, Mass. for the "granddaddy" of all marathons.

Burroughs began running while in college for the same reasons the majority of adults do, as a way to stay active.

Burroughs said that his favorite event was when he celebrated his 60th birthday by racing alongside his son, Jesse in the 2021 Lake Placid Marathon. It was only Jesse's 2nd event, but after performing well he and his father began training in hopes that he could meet the qualifying time for the Boston Marathon.

Last June, Jesse completed the Grandma's Marathon in Duluth, Minn. with a time of 2 hours and 57 minutes which earned him a spot in this year's event. Despite his desire to share the experience with his son, Burroughs was unable to obtain a qualifying time.

Instead he said that he began looking into the option of joining a charity team where a runner doesn't have to meet the individual qualifications to participate. But with a race as iconic as the Boston Marathon, even spots on these teams is extremely competitive.

"I applied to four charities and I was put on the waitlist of all four of those charities. I was feeling discouraged but I just prayed about it and just heard this little voice say 'Keep trying,'" Burroughs said.

For his fifth application, Burroughs told his story to the American Red Cross, describing how important it was to him that this be his 50th marathon and that he would have his son beside him to share the experience. He was then contacted by a representative of the Red Cross and told that she enjoyed his story and that they would like to offer the last available spot on the 60 person team to him.

Burroughs had to commit to raising $10,000 for the organization before the race, and has been quietly raising those funds since through the support of his friends and family. He currently is only a few hundred dollars away from meeting his initial commitment, but said that he has given himself a personal of goal of raising an additional $5,000 as a way of showing his appreciation to the organization for giving him this opportunity.

To contribute to Burroughs' donation to the American Red Cross, visit