Mark Buciak & Catherine Beck

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Mark Buciak
 2009 May Mark Buciak
Most people who complete their first marathon slap the “26.2” bumper sticker on their car and pat themselves on the back for a job well done. Mark Buciak is a different story. Not even heart surgery could stop this man from continuing his streak of consecutive Boston marathons. Seriously. 

With 52 total marathons, 34 years of running and 29 consecutive Boston Marathons under his belt, Buciak has earned his spot in Boston’s Quarter Century Club and a PR of 2:30:25 (1983). 
 
On February 1st, 2006, Mark discovered that, due to genetics, he had an irregular heartbeat and a leak in his aortic valve. Not wanting to jeopardize his running (or his life), Mark underwent open-heart surgery. Less than 11 weeks later, he completed his 27th Boston Marathon. 
 
So what keeps him going? “There’s no reason to stop,” he said. “It’s in my DNA.”

 

 

 
Catherine Beck
 2009 May Catherine Beck
Catherine Beck, 23, burst into the Chicago running scene as the fastest Chicago female finisher (5th overall) at the 2009 Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle with a time of 29:01.  

Currently, Catherine holds a handful of records at Tufts University where she ran for the Jumbos while majoring in archaeology and geology. Indoors, she holds the record for the mile (4:53), 3k (9:31) and 5k (16:42). Outdoors she holds records for the 800m (2:11), 1500m (4:24) and 5k (16:41), and she was a member of the record-holding 4x800m relay team (9:14). 


In Chicago, Catherine is the assistant coach for track and cross-country at University of Illinois Chicago.