Dave Jones is coming to Kauai.
Not for the beaches.
Not for the sunsets.
Not for the relaxation.
The Hanson, Ky. man is coming to set a record. A world record.
“There are very few things in this world that have never been done before, when I discovered that I was in a position to accomplish one of them, reason went out the window and I had to try,” he said.
Jones will be trying to become the first and only person to ever run a marathon, 26.2 miles, on all seven continents and in all 50 United States in less than a year.
He’ll be going for the mark on Jan. 18 at Smith’s Tropical Paradise as part of the Mainly Marathons race series coming to Kauai for the second year.
Earlier this year, Jones became one of four people to ever run official, public marathons on all seven continents in less than seven days.
Starting at the Australia Day Marathon in Perth, Australia on Jan. 25 and finishing just under 167 hours later on King George Island, Antarctica, he completed full marathons on each Continent, traveling from East to West in order to start at each official start line in its own time zone and finish under the published race cut-offs before traveling to the next race.
After taking the month of February to rest, he ran more public marathons and ultra-marathons through the spring, all in different states.
At the end of summer, he realized that, with some careful planning and a lot of good fortune, he had a chance at a quest he has dubbed “The Eternal Endurance 50/7/365 Challenge.” So, around Sept. 1, he began registering for races and making transportation/logistics plans to reach and run official, public marathons in 32 more states before the anniversary of his run in Australia.
He is scheduled to arrive on Kauai Jan. 16
“Now I just pray for continued health while I keep focused on that finish line at Smiths Family Garden in Kapaa when I can finally relax again,” he said.
He has one remaining marathon before Hawaii, and that’s set for Sunday in Baton Rouge, La.
While running marathon after marathon is hard enough, the traveling can be even harder.
Depending on the race location and timing of other races on his schedule, Jones often drives his family minivan and sleeps in it near the start line the night before races then showers in truck stops or campground showers afterward.
When he has to fly, he often sleeps in his rental car to keep costs down, though he’ll be staying at the Hilton Garden Inn while visiting Hawaii.
Jones is married with three children, ages 12, 8, and 4. He owns a company called Eternal Endurance and works as a keynote and motivational speaker as well as an ultra-endurance coach.
He is also active on social media where he often features runners he meets along courses or other things he sees while traveling.
He is also the subject of a forthcoming documentary film that will be partially filmed in Kapaa, and is writing a book.
Jones is far from a natural or lifelong athlete. He didn’t start running until five years ago when he weighed 285 pounds and was trying to break a 25-year nicotine addiction that saw him smoking two packs per day.
Today, he carries 235 pounds on his 6-foot, 1-inch frame. He has a long beard and a shaved head, so seems to be far from your typical world-class endurance athlete type, though he’s finished Ironman triathlons and 100-plus mile runs twice each among other feats.
“First-time marathoners and Ironmen are some of my favorite people,” he said. “It takes a lot of guts to commit to do what it takes to bite off distances like that and I always do everything in my power to help them succeed.”