"Tan Ben Franklin" training for 777th marathon

HOUSTON, Texas -- Steve Boone's love for running started with a bet.

One of the 71-year-old's customers bet him he couldn't run a marathon. That customer has since run a few dozen, but Steve has finished nearly 800.


The 2021 virtual Chevron Houston Marathon was Steve's 777th marathon.

He met his wife Paula at the Boston Marathon in 1996. They have since traveled the world together to race, visiting all 7 continents and 50 states. Boone said, "I made her one promise, it will never be boring and it never slows down."


Steve and Paula have turned their love of running into a lifelong mission. They started a running club that now has close to 5,000 members. They also created a program to get kids interested in running.

While Steve has become well known for his accomplishments, even earning the nickname "Tan Ben Franklin" for his look while running through the neighborhood, he said he's just a regular guy. Boone said, "We're not world-class runners, never have been. We just run. You can make a difference just being that person in the neighborhood that is always out there, no matter how bad the weather is."