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'Denton's Dumbest Marathon' laps courthouse 131 times

The Denton Area Running Club is ready to test its physical and mental endurance with a monotonous New Year's Day race.

DENTON, Texas — A running group in Denton is ringing in the new year in a very "dumb" fashion.

The Denton Area Running Club will run a marathon on New Year’s Day. But unlike other marathons that require street closures and an elaborate route, this one never leaves the city center. 

“We are calling it Denton’s Downtown Marathon,” said member John Meredith.

The measurements have been taken and the calculations have been completed. To run the necessary 26.2 miles to complete a marathon, runners will run a loop around the historic courthouse square a whopping 131 times. 

Which is why the group gave the marathon another name. Meredith owns one of the businesses on the historic square, More Fun Comics and Games, and helped come up with the idea of a marathon that is run around a single block.

“It is a bad idea,” said Meredith. “We are also calling in 'Denton’s Dumbest Marathon.'”

Marathons already are a mental and physical feat, but the monotony of 131 laps takes the mental challenge up a notch, according to Meredith. Runners will have to keep count of their laps while enduring 26.2 miles of déjà vu. 

“Runners who run the Dallas Marathon do not want to do what we are going to do on New Year’s Day,” he said.

Those in the group who don't want to take on the mental monotony of the never-ending circle will run a route that maps out the numbers “2020” when viewed on a GPS device. 

Runners will start at 7 a.m. on Jan. 1, and the group will stagger start times for people who want to show up and take part.

But be warned.

“This is not a race for smart people,” said Meredith.

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