Meet Dean Juntunen. Dean is a long-time Canal Run staple, completing in the race a hefty 26 times. Dean started doing Canal Run in 1992 and has only missed the race twice, in all those years. As a wheelchair racer, Dean is usually the first person to cross the finish line each year. And Canal Run isn’t the only race Dean competes in.
“Exercise is a part of my lifestyle and I compete in several events each year,” he said.
Dean doesn’t care for the big city races, although he has competed in some of the country’s biggest marathons, including the Boston Marathon twice.
“I don’t like racing in crowds, so I’ve been sticking to smaller races, closer to home.” Dean has a personal goal to hit 100 marathons and is at 92 currently.
But of all the races he does, Dean says Canal Run is one of the his favorites.
“You can’t beat the beautiful scenic course, and it’s not too crowded.”