Reggae Marathon pays tribute to beloved 94-year-old participant


Reggae Marathon pays tribute to beloved 94-year-old participant

Saturday, March 28, 2020

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Burt Carlson, one of the oldest participants in the internationally renowned Reggae Marathon, Half Marathon & 10K, passed away on March 10 at age 94.

A resident of Minnesota, USA, Carlson participated in 11 Reggae Marathon & Half Marathons in 2003, 2004, as well as from 2006 to 2013. His most recent run was in 2015.

Carlson began running at 57, and ran 100 marathons after his 81st birthday.

In paying tribute to him, Alfred “Frano” Francis, race director for Reggae Marathon, Half Marathon & 10K, said, “Burt, having participated in 11 of our 19 events, became a member of the Reggae Marathon family. Team members, media and fellow runners all looked forward to seeing him each year. He was an inspiration to runners and a blessing to us all. He will be missed. Rest in peace, Burt.”

Marathoner Greg Merth, who also started running in his later years, recalled meeting Carlson at a half marathon in Minnesota about seven years ago. “He was already a legend and I couldn't let the opportunity pass for me to shake his hand. As we chatted, at the start line…I told him that my wife and I made frequent trips to Jamaica and he advised that he had run the Reggae Marathon 10 times to that point. He has been an inspiration to me,” Merth said, in tribute.

According to the Minnesota Star Tribute, Carlson, known as the “Mound Man”, took part in over 324 marathons and ultra marathons.

Carlson was born in Minneapolis on September 26, 1925, to Bennett and Myrtle Carlson. He was raised in Minneapolis and attended Minneapolis Central High School. He graduated from the University of Minnesota with a degree in mechanical engineering.

He went to work for 3M Co, designing facilities for many of the company's plants. He retired in 1990.

In retirement, running took him all over the world. Carlson ran in all 50 states and in nine countries on seven continents.

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