In a manner of speaking, John Ulin came out of “retirement” for a good cause.
The 51-year-old Ulin, a copyright and trademark lawyer by day, has been seen training for a marathon since September and was most recently spotted running the 17 miles from San Marino to Irwindale for the 626 Golden Streets event on March 5.
“I’m too old to be training for this one,” Ulin quipped in a telephone interview.
Ulin is training for this year’s Boston Marathon, which is slated for April 17, at the behest of daughter Christine, who will graduate from Emerson College in May with a degree in communication disorders.
“My daughter dared me to run it when she finished up with school,” Ulin explained. “It’s not exactly our farewell to Boston, but after this, we’ll have no direct connection to Boston anymore.”
Ulin is making good use of the dare. He was selected to be sponsored by Special Olympics and is quite close to his fundraising goal of $26,200 for the organization (essentially, $1,000 for each of the 26.2 miles in a marathon).
“We’ve done it all through smaller donations,” he said. “The average is probably $100. We’ve had some that were $25 and others that were $500. Overall, it’s been the generosity of a lot of people.”
This will be Ulin’s third career marathon. He ran the L.A. marathon in 1994 (“Which was a more appropriate time for me to be running a marathon,” he again quipped) and more recently ran in the Tucson marathon in 2014. Asked how well he did in each of them, he simply said, “I finished.”
“That was supposed to be it,” Ulin continued, referencing the Tucson marathon. “I swore off marathons after that, but here I am again.”
For what it’s worth, Ulin said this has been a worthwhile experience. He pointed out how well it works out that his daughter is studying communication disorders and he is fundraising for Special Olympics. He commended Metro for its Golden Streets event that helped him train, and he hopes it will return next year.
“There were a lot of people, so you had the same excitement, but it also wasn’t too crowded,” he said. “You could actually move around and I thought it was great.”
The next question was obvious. Will Ulin, who moved to San Marino with his family in 1999, hang up his shoes after April 17?
“I’ve said that twice before, so I wouldn’t necessarily invest on those words,” he admitted. “I’m probably done running 26 miles.”
As of Tuesday, Ulin had raised $22,626 for Special Olympics. To contribute through April 17, visit crowdrise.com/SpecialOlympicsMassBoston2017/fundraiser/johnulin.