When Win Apel completes the Boston Marathon on Monday, he’ll be doing so much more than just finishing a race. Apel, a 59-year-old prostate cancer survivor, has run a marathon in every state in the country but one — Massachusetts. It is no coincidence that the road to No. 50 will end on Boylston Street. “This is the most famous marathon in the world,” Apel said when reached in his New Jersey home. “I saved Boston deliberately for last.”
There actually is one more leg to Apel’s journey — in July he’ll run a marathon in Australia, finishing a mission to run one on all seven continents. While always looking ahead to the next race, however, the Idaho native has never lost sight of what it means to simply be able to put one foot in front of the other.
Apel was diagnosed with cancer on Sept. 11, 2001, making a horrific day even more trying. He missed the New York Marathon that fall after having radical surgery but wanted his recovery to be more than about simply defeating the disease.
Apel ran three marathons in 2002, 10 in ‘03 and he was on his way. “I knew I could do this and show that despite the cancer I’m still as good an athlete as anybody else that wants to make a deal out of it,” Apel said. “If you can physically do something you can do it.”
Apel has raised more than $21,000 for the Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge team.
PUBLISHED IN THE METRO ON APRIL 16TH.