PURCHASE, N.Y. -- He's the marathon man of New York credit unions.
His name is Jeff Micklas and at 25 he's ran 400 miles in three years and spent 75 hours competing in long distance races including those in Chicago, Boston, San Francisco and Oklahoma City.
"I simply enjoy running and in many cases I am able to raise nice sums for charity," said Micklas who when he isn't running on weekends is a consumer loan underwriter for Quorum Federal Credit Union.
Since 2004 Micklas says he has run in nine marathons including the major ones like those in New York and Boston and figures he has raised $5,000.
"This is something I love to do," said Micklas who began running as a means of honoring his late grandfather who while not a runner simply enjoyed watching the races on TV. Micklas was right there with him at his grandfather's home in Ossining.
Micklas, who competed in some high school sports but never ran, remembers telling his grandfather that one day he was going to compete in the New York Marathon. Shortly after his grandfather's death in June 2002, Micklas bought himself a pair of running shoes and he has been running ever since.
And he did run in the New York Marathon in 2004.
Fellow workers at Quorum did not know until recently about his running jaunts until inquiries were made as to why he would take off two days at a time. Since most marathons are on weekends, Micklas world take off Thursdays and Fridays to fly to different cities.
"I am proud to have Jeff as a part of our team and I am proud that our staff has given Jeff the encouragement he needs to continue working towards such a great cause," said Bruno Sementilli, president/CEO of Quorum.
Said Micklas, "everyone at Quorum has been very supportive and many co-workers have made individual donations on my behalf."
Some, he said, are planning bake sales and a number of employees have come to cheer him on at the marathons with one co-worker joining him on Central Park runs.
The words of encouragement, he said, have made the runs all worthwhile and "help me take that next step when I'm drained and exhausted."
In a feature story on Micklas appearing in the Westchester County Business Journal, Micklas told of a heart-warming event for the Oklahoma City marathon last year relating to the 1995 Alfred P. Murrah Building bombing.
While registering for the marathon a woman by the name of Doris Jones approached Micklas and asked for a favor: would he run in the memory of her daughter, Carrie Ann Lenz who was just about Micklas' age when she died?
Lenz, who was pregnant, was working in the Drug Enforcement Agency when the bomb hit, noted the publication. "Micklas said he will never forget Jones, the memorial and museum of the bombing and incidentally, it was also his best race at four hours and 40 minutes."