The motivation behind one colorful character

  • Updated: October 7, 2007 - 10:30 PM

A veteran of 30 marathons -- half of them here at the Twin Cities -- Iowan Larry Reis discovered a long time ago that 26.2 miles is a "long, boring run by yourself." So 13 years ago, he painted his face in patriotic colors and hasn't stopped since then.

Sunday's weather was record-breaking hot and sticky, but Reis' blue-and-white face paint -- as well as his lungs and legs -- was almost as fresh when he finished in front of the State Capitol as when he started at the Metrodome 3 hours and 38 minutes earlier.

"It makes people tend to notice you," said Reis, 51, a naturalist from Calmar, Iowa, who also wore a T-shirt that read, "I'm Larry."It's a good way to get people to cheer, and it motivates me to run," he said. "It really does. I'm amazed at all the support you can get by putting a little paint on your face."

JERRY ZGODA

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