Running: Bob Dolphin to run 500th Marathon

Bob Dolphin, 82, prepares for 500th marathon

By Rebecca Agiewich

He ran his first marathon at the ripe young age of 51. Now, at 82, Bob Dolphin is gunning for his 500th 26.2-miler next March in the 12th annual Yakima River Canyon Marathon.

Dolphin and his wife Lenore, known in the Northwest running community as “Team Dolphin,” direct the Yakima River Canyon Marathon. A warm, welcoming, and fun event that features hugs from Lenore at the finish line, the event also offers lots of prizes, foods and special awards for first-timers.

Top: Bob and Lenore Dolphin make up “Team Dolphin.” Above: Bob Dolphin races in Olympia’s Capital City Marathon. Photos by Denny Brooks /

In the 19 years since they met, Lenore Dolphin has become almost as legendary as Bob, volunteering at every single race that he’s run in (including offering her famous hugs at the finish line).

In a career that includes 44 ultra-marathons (the longest clocking in at 101 miles), Dolphin earned his personal best at the Boston Marathon at age 58 with a time of 3:04:25.

These days, Bob walks his marathons, but that hasn’t slowed him down much: after meeting the milestone of his 500th marathon, his next goal is to run marathons in the 10 states in the U.S. that have eluded him, making him a “50-states” marathoner. On the list are Vermont, New Hampshire, New Jersey, and Kansas, to name a few.

Bob’s favorite marathon? It used to be the Victoria Marathon (number 300), according to Lenore. Now he’s partial to his hometown event, and the one he and Lenore host every year—the Yakima River Canyon Marathon.

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