Dave Obelkevich Completes Every New York City Marathon Since 1976
The 73-year-old retired music teacher has completed every New York City Marathon since 1976. Additionally, he has run in four marathons abroad.
He’s a smiling, telling link to the days when the NYC Marathon consisted of four or more loops through Central Park with fewer than 260 finishers and only a few spectators.
Early Life and Education
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At this age, children begin forming relationships with others and explore a wider world outside of their own. Early childhood education can be invaluable at this stage – providing them with invaluable opportunities to grow into confident citizens of the future.
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Obelkevich has always been a passionate musician, beginning his musical journey by playing the violin at an early age. Later he channeled his enthusiasm into becoming an orchestral music teacher for New York City Department of Education and member of both American Orchestra Association and National Federation of Schools of Music.
Obelkevich began running the NYC Marathon in 1973. Back then it consisted of just four loops around Central Park with fewer than 260 finishers and a few spectators.
In 1976, the course was extended to encompass all five boroughs and Obelkevich began his record-breaking streak of 45 consecutive marathons.
Since then, he’s run 65 additional marathons and ultramarathons. Additionally, he and his wife have cycled across America from Chicago to New Orleans in just 56 days – an achievement they credit to their passion for cycling.
Achievement and Honors
Obelkevich, a retired music teacher, has completed every New York City Marathon since 1976 – an impressive streak in its 52 year history. This record stands as one of the longest ever completed by any participant in this historic race.
As Obelkevich traverses the five boroughs of NYC, he often strikes up conversations with those who pass him by. To stay in touch, he’ll pull a card from his hat and give it to them so they can stay connected to him.
Obelkevich observes three significant developments in the race over its 14 year history: first, it has become an international destination with runners from 125 countries participating last year; and secondly, women’s participation has seen a meteoric rise; from just one woman starting the first race to 42 percent of all finishers in 2015.
Dave Obelkevich has completed every New York City Marathon since 1976, making him one of only 400 people to achieve this feat according to Sarah Huvane of New York Road Runners, the organization behind the event.
Obelkevich frequently strikes up conversations with those running alongside him while traversing the five boroughs of the city, pulling cards from his hat to keep in touch.
In addition to his marathon streak, Obelkevich has run in South Africa’s Comrades Marathon 10 times and completed a 56-day pedal bicycle trip across America. Among other achievements, he was the first American ever awarded green numbers for 10 consecutive finishes at Comrades and remains the only runner to complete all eight Boston Marathons.