brothers completed the 107th Boston Marathon Monday, April 21,
2003 and made history as the first three brothers ever to qualify
for, run side by side, and complete the Boston Marathon.
Paul, Stephen and Jim Gidus (pronounced 'Guide-us') of Central
Florida came across the finish line together with a time of 3:51:13
(3 hours, 51 minutes, 13 seconds) in the race which carries strict
qualification requirements, hosts the finest distance runners
in the world, and is the second largest single day sporting event
in the world.
Balance Athletic Shoe, Inc. was the official clothing sponsor
for the Gidus Brothers. Boston Marathon officials took notice
of the trio and granted them VIP status.
age 42; Stephen, age 40; and Jim, age 39, began training to qualify
for the Boston Marathon in May, 2002. In order to qualify, Paul
and Stephen needed to run a previous marathon in 3 hours and
20 minutes (3:20) or less, due to their age; Jim needed a time
of 3:15 or less. Stephen and Jim qualified for the Boston Marathon
at the Columbus Marathon in October, 2002 with a personal record
(PR) of 3:13 for Stephen and 2:56 for Jim. Paul attempted to
qualify in Columbus but a previous hamstring injury flair-up
brought him in almost 14 minutes past the necessary time. He
qualified, however, at the Houston Marathon in January, 2003
with a PR of 3:18.
brothers were after a more aggressive finish time, but at about
the 8 mile mark, Paul began to lose force, a possible result
of a strained back muscle just days before the race.
energy level just wasn't there," Paul recalled. At the 14
mile mark Paul was forced to walk. Because the brothers had agreed
ahead of time to stay together despite their varying abilities,
Stephen and Jim interrupted their run to walk with Paul.
walked for about a mile or two to regain my energy, and then
I would begin to run again," Paul said. "I had to do
this several times." The act of sticking together was not
a novel idea for the brothers. As youngsters who were very close
in age, the brothers did practically everything together. As
they grew older, they continued to be close, even working together
in a family business.
brothers are pleased with the day's outcome. "We met our
goal of running side by side and finishing the race together.
That's what counts," said Stephen.
Jim preferred to train on his own, Paul and Stephen trained with
the Track Shack Marathon Fest, an organized training group in
Orlando, under the direction of Track Shack President and Co-owner
Jon Hughes. Jon is also the race director of many Central Florida
running races including the Walt Disney World Marathon, and handled
race particulars for the brothers.
spoken to the Boston Marathon Executive Director Guy Morse, and
to his knowledge, three brothers have never qualified and run
together in this race," said Hughes.
to Ryan Lamppa of the USA Track & Field Road Running Information
Center, only a select group of marathon finishers qualify for
the Boston Marathon. Lamppa pointed out that it is fairly easy
to run a marathon, but only a select group of people train hard
enough and have the physical and/or mental talent to finish a
marathon with a good qualifying time.
More about the Gidus Brothers and the
*Prior to running the Boston
Marathon, the Gidus Brothers carried out research that led them
to believe three brothers had never qualified for and completed
the Boston Marathon together. However, in a letter to the editor
of the Orlando Sentinel published several weeks after the marathon,
it was pointed out that four brothers, one of whom resides in
Central Florida, completed the Boston Marathon in 2000.