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Stretch's Lair

October 2001 Marathon update:

High! Folks!

Well I am back home from again stilt walking the Dublin Marathon with the Rocky Mountain Chapter of the Arthritis Foundation Joints in Motion Team.
2001 Dublin Marathon

First, let me say that I had tons of help and a very tall thank you to you all!

As it turned out, my fund raising total of $5878.20 qualified me for 3rd place in the fund raising totals.  I about fell out of my chair when they announced at the pasta party that I had won 3rd place and brought me up on stage to receive my award: a very nice crystal lidded vase? pedestal candy dish?, not sure what to call it, but it sure is pretty.

The Dublin Team raised a total of $70,531.55 so far!!!!!!!!!!!

The Rocky Mountain Chapter raised over $70,500 and took 11 athletes and a  total of 21 people to the Dublin Marathon.  There was a total of 1400 Joints in Motion Athletes nationwide attending the Dublin Marathon.  Along with 400 Staff, Coaches and Guests.  I understand that this represents a new attendance record and fundraising record.

As to the race itself, WOW!  I started in the middle of about 7000 racers.  Some in costume. There was "Chief" who I had met in 1999. American Indian Headdress with red, white and blue pants.  Also a giant rhino head, among others.  I wore my signature ostrich plumed top hat, yellow and red striped clown shirt under my bright neon green Joints in Motion Team jersey and black pants.  Accessorized with green gloves and a bright pink feather duster!

The course change this year brought us out to the docks where the wind was a great challenge. In fact for much of the race the wind was a factor to contend with.  A strong head wind forced me to go faster to maintain any kind of momentum.  The cross wind was the worst, bringing me to a halt 2 or 3 times, and forcing me to crab walk, or walk sideways in order to maintain my bearings. Did the first half of the marathon in 3 hours and 19 minutes and 54 seconds.  As the wind and distance took its toll, I slowed down, the second half took a whooping 5 hours, 33 minutes and 18 seconds.  By the 17 mile my feet were heavily
blistered, by the 19 mile the blisters had torn open and my feet were raw and shredded.

Jerry gets a dust up At that point I stopped to get my feet taped.   Thank you Mike and Patrick and Marnie!  Although it took 40 minutes to locate tape and apply it, it allowed me to continue.  Jerry, my partner, met me at the 20 mile mark and walked with me to the finish line.  Good thing too, as the finish lined approached, the wind which had calmed, now increased in its bluster. For parts of the last mile and a half I took Jerry's hand to stay upright!

Total time was 8 hours, 57 minutes and 58 seconds.  There were around 7000 starters. 6152 of us finished the race, and 26 people finished after I did!  It took me 4 minutes 46 seconds after the start just to get to the starting line, the crowd was so big, and I was in the middle
of the pack. So my net walking time for the 26 miles was 8 hours, 53 minutes and 12 seconds.  Not bad for a 48 year old clown!

That is an hour and a half better than what I did in 1999!

Less adventure this year than in 1999:  I didn't get lost at all, let alone twice! And I never did find that kid that tried to pull my pants down! Both years we missed attending an Irish circus.  We hit the week in between TWO different circus troupes performances in Dublin.  Also missed the Dublin Halloween Parade, which was held at the same time as the Pasta Party. Oh well, maybe next time!

We had a wonderful time, friendly and helpful people every where. Outbound, we went through the Denver International Airport check in in less than a half hour!  British Airways was terrific.

Walking tall, and stretching imaginations!
Bill "Stretch" Coleman
Denver, Colorado, USA


For more information:

race photos are at:

Marnie Ward
Joints in Motion Coordinator
Arthritis Foundation
Rocky Mountain Chapter
2280 S. Albion Street
Denver, CO 80222-4906
303-756-8622 x245

Arthritis is no walk in the park...It's a Marathon!!!!! Join the "Joints in Motion Training Team" to Walk or Run a marathon in Dublin, Honolulu, Alaska or Disney World and help the 43 million Americans with arthritis. 

Train with us for the journey of a lifetime!


March 2001 Marathon update:

Well Jerry and I are back in training for the 2001 Dublin Marathon.
  After successfully completing the 1999 marathon for the Arthritis
Foundation (see below)  we are back at it for this year's marathon.
Have raised over $2000 so far out of a goal of $10,000.  

To sponsor Stretch or Jerry Just make the check out to the Arthritis Foundation and indicate that it is to sponsor STRETCH - the nine foot clown   or Jerry and mail to their offices at:

Arthritis Foundation,  2280 South Albion St.,  
Denver Colorado, 80222
My contact at the Arthritis Foundation is Tom Christner
TChristn@arthritis.org              303-756-8622

If you would like to join us in our training, give me a call at
303-922-4655.  You'll find us circling Athmar Park in the mornings 2 or 3 times a week as our schedule allows.


     STRETCH will be participating in the Arthritis Foundations Joints in Motion fundraising MARATHON (26.2 miles) to be held in Dublin, Ireland, October 25, 1999.  Of course, I will be doing it on stilts (other wise it would be work, on stilts it is play!).  Last year, I'm told, participants included a 72 year old woman who completed the marathonin 8 hours 32 minutes with two artificial knees!    So far I'm up to 18 miles in my training.  Nice way to meet all the neighbors in the neighborhood! Fundraising is coming along well, so far I've raised $6500.  Would like to raise $10,000.  My sister has some kind of arthritis, they keep changing their mind on what kind!  Her
spine is so bad, it is pinching the nerves and now her hands keep falling asleep.  My ma's side of  family, the men get gout, so far I'm symptom free.  Folks can sponsor me by the mile: $1 a mile, ($26)- $2 ($52) - $3,($78) etc. or by the step.  With a 6 foot stride, that's very economical! $1 a step comes to $23,056. :>)  

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Denver, Colorado

HIGH! Everyone!

Greetings from Stretch!

I did it!

Near 4 years ago at age 43  I embarked on my 2nd childhood as a nine
foot tall stilt performer and clown.  Started doing parades with the
Colorado Clowns Alley.  Quickly found that I needed to get in shape for
the parades, so started stilt walking the 5K and 10K charity walks and

And this last Monday I successfully stilt walked the Dublin, Ireland

I entertained a wonderful crowd of 6500+ runners, walkers and spectators
for an hour before the start.  Then stilt walked the marathon all the
while posing for dozens of photos, high fiving hundreds and waving at

The Irish children are so charming!  I was encouraged all the way:  some
gave me candy, many took my photo, one youth of about eight or nine
tried to pull my pants down, and another tried to tip me o'r!  Each in
their own way were a marvelous inspiration to greater efforts!

With my head in the trees, I lost my way twice, I kept missing some
obvious signs, so had to get my bearings and back track.  I figure it
was a 27 mile marathon!

Had some trouble with my feet and was slowed down changing socks.  Still
got major blisters.  Finished the marathon in ten and a half hours. No,
I was not the last one to cross the finish line! Not by a half hour or
so.  Should be able to trim 2-3 hours off of that with more sleep, less
jet lag and  not getting lost!

The weather was near perfect. Cool to cold with little wind.  As soon as
the blisters heal a little I plan to continue my training and search for
better socks.

The fundraising for the Arthritis Foundation is going well, had more
checks in my mail when I got in last night. Total tops $6500. The
overall total for all of the Joints in Motion participants topped two
million dollars! And the local Denver Post newspaper
  and  an AP radio show covered my efforts.

Keep watching this space for updates and more photos as they come in.


Thank you, each and every one of you for your encouragement,
contibutions,  well wishes and prayers.

Walk Tall, (and have an adventure!)

Bill "Stretch" Coleman