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How An Overland Park Runner Got His Marathon Dream, Even After The Race Was Postponed

Dow Tate
On the day he had planned to run the Boston Marathon, Dave Ewers ran a full marathon by himself (unless you count the cheering fans).

After the Boston marathon was rescheduled for September, the associate principal of Shawnee Mission North High School says being surprised by cheering friends and colleagues on what he thought would be a typical run made it one of the best days of his life.

Shawnee Mission North High School associate principal Dave Ewers was disappointed when the Boston Marathon was postponed. He had been looking forward to the trip ever since he found out he qualified back in September.

As the scheduled day of the marathon approached, he was trying to decide what to do. Should he go for a short run anyway?

A few of his colleagues thought it was a good idea. They even drew up a 22 mile route for him around Overland Park, promising to replenish his energy with beverages if he ran by their houses.

Three friendly faces and some Gatorade was all that he was expecting when he set out for his run a little before 7:00 a.m. in late April. That's why it confused him so much when he immediately started seeing teachers he knew from Shawnee Mission North High School.

“I was really wondering, like, what are they doing out this early in the morning? And how did they know I was out?” Ewers says.

Unbeknownst to him, his colleagues had informed the entire teaching staff and invited them to come out on the route and cheer him on.

Courtesy of Dave Ewers

As he continued to run, more people he knew appeared, yelling and cheering. Some supplied him with refreshing beverages. Others held up signs with variations of “Go Dave Go!" or wrote “Welcome To Boston, Dave!” in chalk on the sidewalk.

He was overwhelmed.

“I bet I didn’t go one or two miles without seeing at least someone,” Ewers says. “It kept me going. Right when I started to get kind of tired, I would see somebody else and get to wave or stop.”

Approximately 22.4 miles later, the run culminated with Ewers sprinting down a hill by his house in the rain to a crowd of cheering neighbors and a balloon archway that his wife had spent the previous night making.

“It was one of the best days of my life,” Ewers says.

He was still on such a high after the run that when he started hearing people falsely reporting that he had run a full marathon, he felt it was his duty to finish what he had started.

“I didn’t feel right having not actually covered 26.2, so I went back out a little bit later and ran an additional 3.8 miles.”

Ewers knows that the Boston Marathon being postponed was never that big of a deal in the grand scheme of things. If it happens in September, he’ll just run it then.

He thinks the generosity he received from friends and colleagues on that day is something to celebrate, though.

“The truth of it is that I ran the miles, but without them and all of their support, it was just another guy going for a run,” he says. “It’s because of their kindness that it became a story.”

Becky Tate

Dave Ewers spoke with KCUR at the end of a recent episode of Up To Date Special Coverage: Coronavirus In KC. You can listen to their entire conversation here.

Whether it’s something happening right now or something that happened 100 years ago, some stories don’t fit in the short few minutes of a newscast. As a podcast producer at KCUR, I help investigate questions and local curiosities in a way that brings listeners along for adventures with plot twists and thought-provoking ideas. Sometimes there isn’t an easy answer in the end – but my hope is that we all leave with a greater understanding of the city we live in. Reach me at mackenzie@kcur.org.
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