The Inaugural Baco-Thon

by | Apr 16, 2020 | Uncategorized | 11 comments

After nine months, 35 pounds, and 500 miles or so, I’m ready to see if I can actually run a marathon – no matter how slowly!

I’m going to start at 9 a.m. on Saturday, and hope to finish before 2 p.m. Yes, a slow 11-12 minute/mile pace – about the same as a riding lawnmower.  

Because Boston has been postponed, I set up a 26.2 mile course with similar elevations to the Boston Marathon around Ann Arbor with the help of ’83 champion Greg Meyer (Grand Rapids guy) and Geoff Burns, and with a crucial twist: a marathon of memories, starting at my parents’ home, past just about everything I care about in this city. 

You can find the route here:

Below I’ve listed the mile splits, though of course my times might be a little off. But this should help if you care to join for part of the journey — at a safe distance, of course, though I don’t think that will be easy to  achieve as I’m slogging by your home. I’d love to see some friendly faces along the way if possible, and we’re taping this for radio and possibly TV. I’ll also be doing a story on this next week. 

We’ve also set up the  Share My Location feature on my iPhone to help, well, locate me. (If you have and I-phone and want to follow, send Ed Sponseller your name & cell # ).

I realize everyone is being asked to help in these trying times, so don’t feel compelled in any way, but since a bunch of folks have asked, we ultimately did decide to attach a fund-raiser, the Book Industry Charitable Foundation, which has given $6.6 million to 7,500 independent booksellers since starting 23 years ago. The list includes my two favorites: Literati, and Nicola’s Books, and everyone is fighting for survival. Again, ZERO obligation, of course. Give if the spirit moves you. We’ve donated ourselves, and have a special link for those who want to chip in. 

Thanks to all of you who helped me in so many ways along this journey! 

Any questions, just ask!

Mile 0. 9:00am.

(Bacons, Meaders, Pustells, Roddys. Weisman, Patterson. 

King School, in honor of Mr. Pudduck, Mrs. Strohl. 

Mile 1: 9:11 or so.  

3805 Wynnstone Dr. – the old AA homebuilding house!

In honor of Tom Lancaster

-Passing the Hisses, Benedeks, Severances, Barnetts.  

Mile 2: about 9:23 or so. 

Green Briar Apartments

-In honor of the Childs and Megginsons on Middleton. 

Mile 3: 9:34 or so. 

Green Road, just past Plum Market. 

-Sugarbush Park. Yellowstone. (Uhers)

Mile 4: 9:46 or so


Bogards, Weinholds, Sponsellers/Commiskeys/Chappuis.

Mile 5: 9:57 am or so. 

Clague: in honor of Bob Galardi, Stu White, Bidlack, Neaton, Bob Cope.

Mile 6: 10:08 or so. 

North Campus Research Center (Pfizer) 

Mile 7: 10:19 or so. 

Huron High, in honor of Dave Stringer, Lori Wojtowicz, Kent Overby. Mr. George. Mr. Harris, Ed Klum, Al Gallup, Rod Sorge. 

Mile 8: 10:30 or so. 

Gallup Park

In honor of my Huron Hockey players, who ran there. 

Mile 9: 10:42 or so

Gallup Park-past playground

Mile 10: 10:54 or so. 

Gallup Park-Dixboro Dam

Mile 11: 11:06 or so

Gallup Park-Dixboro Dam (again, going back)

Mile 12: 11:1 or so

Gallup Park –approaching playground (again)

Mile 13: 11:30 or so

Gallup Park trail

Mile 14: 11:42 or so

Arb: approaching road hill

Mile 15: 11:55 or so

Top of Arb on Geddes

Mile 16: 12:06 or so

Arlington/Devonshire 5-way stop

Bo’s House, passing the Weismans, McMurtries, Ramseys

Mile 17: 12:18 or so

Vinewood and Washtenaw

Passing the Borcherts, Robert Frost, Knight-Wallace

Mile 18: 12:30 or so

The UM Hospital

Mile 19: 12:42 or so

Rackham Building

Mile 20: 12:44 or so

Angell Hall

Mile 21: 12:53 or so IM Building

Mile 22: 1:05 or so

Packard and Granger/Burns ParkIn honor of Coach Ronnie Warhurst, our “senior shuffle”

Mile 23: 1:17 or so

Packard and East U/McKinley

Mile 24: 1:29 or so

Big House: Stadium and Main

Mile 25: 1:41 or so

Bach School (Passing the Kleins, Andersons, Tobins, Michigan Radio)

Mile 26: 1:52 or so

West Park – then HOME! (My family!)

NOTE: I am NOT stopping in West Park, but up the hill and home to 603 Fountain Street. We’ll have some beer there, and plenty of room to spread out! 


Whether I see you or not, I’ll be thinking of you in appreciation along the way!


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  1. Carl Smith

    Message (Required)
    John, I wish you good weather tomorrow.

    I ran the short distances in my very short high school track career. My longest runs came when I moved to Ann Arbor 1979. Iran 3-4 miles every 3rd day to lose weight; I lost about 25 pounds over a period of a year. But as the requirements of my job increased it left me less time to keep running. Also my knees did not hold up to the stress of running on hard surfaces of roads & sidewalks.

    I am with Sam’s comments on this morning’s show; no way would I ever consider running a marathon!

    All the best in your quest!!!


  2. Dave

    Secrets of weight loss success?? looks like about a pound/week

  3. Josh Reyher

    I looked at the crazy course without reading the details! Great plan! Run steady…Run through the Finish!

  4. johnubacon

    Hate to say it, but it’s this simple: When you’re not hungry, do not eat!

  5. john w minton jr

    On an unrelated subject after congratulations for the marathon effort;

    After rereading Three and Out and Fourth and Long I realized that stain of a university throwing a good man under the bus can never, like the stains on Lady MacBeth’s hands, be washed away. These cowardly acts against Rich Rodriguez at Michigan, Woody Hayes at Ohio State and Joe Paterno At Penn State will live in infamy as long as College football is played.


  6. Doug W Stanton

    Way to go, rooting for you. I know you’ll do this in style, love the course, the gestures of the honor to others.

  7. Janet Torno (Required)

    Wish I had seen this sooner- Would have e joined you along the way to cheer you on! good luck with the run. I am a former 5-10K runner and did well in my age group as I myself aged. Now it’s walking 4-5 miles daily

  8. Zack U

    This is awesome! I hope you will also sign up for the virtual remote WFH distributed worldwide socially distant race open to every runner, any distance, anywhere in the world.

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