Man Makes Des Moines Marathon His 99th

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DES MOINES, Iowa - Don Wright has learned to just keep putting one foot in front of the other.

"99 marathons and we've done at least one marathon in every state," he said. "I was diagnosed with a cancer called multiple myeloma. And at the time, the standard knowledge was three-to-five years is what you have."

But that was 13 years - and 98 marathons - ago. Medical advances since Wright's diagnosis stretched that three-to-five year life expectancy to new lengths. But he says that grim outlook early on served a useful purpose.

"It stimulated me to want to run [The Boston Marathon] before it was too late," he said.

Before his diagnosis, Wright will tell you he never planned to run more than one marathon in his life.

"I ran my first marathon, I got close to the end, and I thought, 'Why would anybody ever do this twice!?" Then I got my diagnosis two weeks later," he said.

So twice became three times; three times turned into ten. 13 years later, Don Wright is preparing to complete his 99th marathon in Des Moines - at the age of 75.

"One thing led to another; we ran a race, we liked that. We found another race, we ran that," Wright's wife, Ardis, said. "Pretty soon, we got several and it was starting to look like maybe we could do all 50 states. And after that, people said, 'Well, what are you going to do next?' And it just seemed natural to just keep right on running."

As for the man himself, ending at 99 just doesn't seem to satisfy.

"Well, we're definitely going to a hundred in Philadelphia next month," he said. "And after that, it's undetermined, we don't know yet."

It's kind of like his battle with blood cancer; Wright doesn't know what the future holds, but he and his family keep on going, one foot in front of the other.