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Captain Wins Afghanistan Version of Chicago Marathon

  • By Duncan Larkin
  • Published Oct. 10, 2011
  • Updated Oct. 10, 2011 at 9:12 AM UTC
William Boland won the satellite Chicago Marathon in Afghanistan last Friday. Photo: U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Brandon Pomrenke

He hopes to run a faster marathon when he returns to the U.S.

William Boland won the satellite Chicago Marathon in Afghanistan last Friday. Photo: U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Brandon Pomrenke

Over 45,000 runners took part in yesterday’s Chicago Marathon. However, in Afghanistan, the numbers were a little different last Friday as 70 soldiers took part in a satellite race of the marathon at a NATO base in Kabul.

The winner of Afghanistan’s Chicago Marathon was Air Force Captain William “Billy” Boland,  who crossed the finish line in 3:19:02.

“It really was awesome,” Boland, 28, said during a phone interview. “I’m really looking forward to getting back to the United States and being able to run another marathon at a much lower altitude and with much cleaner air. I think it’d be kind of fun to see how fast I could do it then.”

Captain  John Paul Zimmermann organized the race. Thus far, he’s run 10 Chicago Marathons and is seeking to run 50 by 2050. Zimmermann contacted Chicago Marathon officials and told him he would miss this year’s race. Marathon organizers responded by sending him four boxes of bibs, race tee shirts, and finisher medals.

The Afghanistan version of the marathon was comprised of ten loops that wound through the heavily guarded base.

For More: Chicago Tribune

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Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin is the news editor at Competitor.com and a freelance journalist who’s been covering the sport of running for over five years. He’s run 2:32 in the marathon and won the Himalayan 100-Mile Stage Race in 2007. His first running book, RUN SIMPLE, was released last July.

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