R. Laurence Macon didn't win Saturday's New Year's Double Marathon in the Dallas suburb of Allen. He didn't even come in second.
But the prominent San Antonio trial lawyer hopes that he won something else: a new world record. The race was the 113rd certified marathon that Macon completed in 2011, he said. And he did it on his 67th birthday.
"It's a great birthday gift," Macon told Reuters after completing the course.
The current record for the most marathons completed in one year by a male runner is 106, according to the Guinness World Records website. South Korea's IM Chae Ho set that record in 2009 and Macon matched it in 2010, the site says.
"If Larry did complete the 113 marathons and sends in required documentation for our records management team to review, he will have broken the current record," Sara Wilcox, a Guinness public relations and marketing assistant, told Reuters in an e-mail on Tuesday.
All work, no play
Macon, a partner with the law firm Akin Gump Strauss Hauer and Feld who has collected hundreds of millions of dollars in damages in lawsuits, said he sometimes does business while running marathons.
Once, he said, he conducted a conference call regarding a multimillion-dollar civil case while running in the Boston Marathon.
"The opposing counsel doesn't seem to be bothered by my heavy breathing," he told Reuters.
Macon, who said he is in "lousy" physical shape for 67, said he just "goes out there and puts one foot in front of the other" and doesn't attempt speed records. In fact, he said his fastest marathon time is four hours, 45 minutes — twice the usual winning time.
It is not unusual for him to run seven marathons in a week. He said that in February, for example, he ran a marathon in South Carolina, ran another the following day in Maryland, and a third the day after that in California. Each time after crossing the finish line, he drove to the airport, he said.
"I generally change clothes in the car," he said.
Macon, who didn't start running until age 49, estimates he has run 2,938 miles in marathons this year, gone through 12 pairs of shoes and logged 200,000 miles in the air.
"I was talking to some other lawyers at the county courthouse," he said. "I bragged that I was planning on running a marathon, and the other lawyers said, 'Why don't we throw you a party after you finish it?' So I was stuck."
He said that while his marathon career may have some people convinced that he's crazy, he hopes it inspires other middle-aged people to "get some exercise and have some fun."
"I have left specific instructions that if I die on the course, my friends are supposed to drag my body down the rest of the course and across the finish line," he said. "And then lie about the results."