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James Jaap, senior instructor in English, prepares for the Boston Marathon

11/12/2010 —

James Jaap, assistant director of Academic Affairs and senior instructor in English, did some short distance running in high school and after college, but running wasn’t a passion back then or the “addiction” he calls it now.  When neighbors approached him in 2006 and asked him to join them for the Marine Corp Marathon in Washington, D.C., he thought, “Why not?”  That was the beginning.

When he was able to combine a sport he began to love with a cause he cared about, the “addiction” began.  During the past few years Jaap has run for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training Program, a group that raises money for research.  “Running can be a selfish sport,” said Jaap.  “Running for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society allows me to give something back.  We all know someone who has had cancer.  A classmate died from the disease when were in graduate school.”  Jaap is particularly inspired by the “patient heroes” he meets.  These patients with leukemia or lymphoma, often children, provide encouragement as he prepares for marathons.

On October 3, Jaap ran his sixth marathon, the Wineglass Marathon in Corning, New York.  He finished the 26.2 mile marathon in 3 hours, 18 minutes, and 25 seconds—improving his best time by nine minutes and qualifying him for the Boston Marathon on April 18, 2011.  The Boston Marathon requires a qualifying time of 3 hours and 20 minutes for runners in Jaap’s age range of 40-44. 

Jaap runs five mornings a week, on average 35-50 miles.  He says running keeps him focused and allows him to set personal goals and achieve them.  Most importantly, it keeps him in shape to enjoy his family—wife Angel and children Camille, 11 and James, 8.   

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