BOSTON, Mass. – Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee has officially entered the 2008 Boston Marathon, the Boston Athletic Association has announced. As has been reported in the media, Huckabee has been training while on the campaign trail. He will join Team Hoyt, a local charity which strives to integrate the physically challenged into everyday life. Dick and Rick Hoyt are a father and son team that has completed 25 Boston Marathons, with Dick running and Rick in his wheelchair.
In 2003, while serving as Governor of Arkansas, Huckabee was diagnosed with Type II Diabetes. As a result he began running and gradually lost 110 pounds. In 2005 he completed the Little Rock Marathon in 4:38:32, a performance which earned him the honor of USATF Athlete of the Week. Since then Huckabee has completed three additional marathons: the 2005 Marine Corps Marathon, the 2006 Little Rock Marathon, and the 2006 ING New York City Marathon. His personal best, coming in 2006 at Little Rock, is now 4 hours, 26 minutes, 05 seconds.
Following stints as Lieutenant Governor (1993-1996) and Governor (1996-2007) of Arkansas, Huckabee entered the 2008 presidential race. Huckabee’s campaign scored a victory in the Iowa Caucuses and placed third in both the New Hampshire and Michigan primaries, making the former governor a strong contender for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination. He was the runner-up in the South Carolina Republican presidential primary on Saturday, January 19.
The 112th Boston Marathon will be held on Monday, April 21, 2008, Patriots’ Day in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The race follows a 26.2-mile point-to-point route from the town of Hopkinton, Mass., to Boston’s Back Bay. The race begins at 10:00 a.m.
Established in 1887, the Boston Athletic Association is a non-profit organization with a mission of managing athletic events and promoting a healthy lifestyle through sports, especially running. The B.A.A.’s Boston Marathon is the world’s oldest annual marathon, and the organization manages other local events and supports comprehensive charity, youth, and year-round running programs. Since 1986, the principal sponsor of the Boston Marathon has been John Hancock Financial Services.