Jim Driver found a unique way to celebrate May Day this year.
Driver, a runner for 22 years, a "serious one since 1986," had run four marathons, but never had gone beyond the 26-mile, 385-yard distance. He turned 50 on May 1, and to commemorate the event, he decided to try 50 miles.
"It's something I had been thinking about for about a year," Driver said last week.
The Northern Central Railroad Trail from Ashland to the Pennsylvania line served as his footpath. He began his ultramarathon at 6:30 a.m. and, 10 hours, 53 minutes, 23 seconds later, successfully had managed his course.
"Every mile is marked [along the trail]," Driver said. "The trail is 20 miles long, so I ran out to Pennsylvania for 20, back to the 15-mile mark to make up the extra 10 miles and then back.
"The trail actually ends at the Mason-Dixon Line at 19.7 miles. I had to go three-tenths of a mile into Pennsylvania to make up the extra distance."
Driver, who owns a dog-grooming business, had run the Marine Corps Marathon twice, the Baltimore Road Runners Club's Northern Central Trail Marathon and the Last Train to Boston Marathon before he attempted his 50-miler.
"I can pretty much arrange my own schedule, except in June through August when business really picks up," he said. "Actually, I place my running before anything else."