Papadakos plans to run 31 marathons in January

George Papadakos of Tillsonburg plans to run 31 marathons in 31 days in January while raising funds and awareness for the Alzheimer Society of Oxford County.

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In his lifetime, George Papadakos has completed seven marathons.

By the end of January 2021, the 46-year-old Tillsonburg triathlon and running coach will shatter that mark.

Papadakos plans to run 31 marathons in 31 days in January while raising funds and awareness for the Alzheimer Society of Oxford County.

An experienced runner, Papadakos had to cancel one ironman and two half-ironman competitions in 2020, delaying them to 2021.

Inspired in part by Dean Karnazes, who ran 50 marathons in 50 American states in 50 days, Papadakos came up with an idea to combine his race talents and his love for the Alzheimer Society to raise money for the local Oxford branch.

“They might have to amalgamate with London, or a couple different societies, so they can keep afloat and give the support they need to in this community,” Papadakos said.

The two annual Walk for Memories in Oxford County in Tillsonburg and Woodstock normally held in January are among the highest per-capita Alzheimer Society fundraisers in the country, said Shelley Green, executive director of the Alzheimer Society of Oxford, last year in Woodstock.


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Papadakos, who hosted several charity running and cycling duathlons over the years to support the Alzheimer Society, said he wanted to do something a little more “high profile.”

“As funny as it seems, I thought about doing a marathon a day for the month of January, and then I was like, ‘no, no, no…’ Two weeks later it was all I could think about. Is it feasible? Is it crazy? At the end of the day, I know I can do it, and I think if we can create an awareness that the Alzheimer Society is a huge deal.

Papadakos plans to run an outdoor marathon a day – 26.2 miles or 42.2 kilometres – for as long as he can in January, adjusting accordingly to the weather.

He said if needed, he could always do it virtually on his treadmill.

Papadakos would need to circle Tillsonburg about four times to complete a marathon, but there will also be days when family members drive him out of town so he can run with the wind at his back.

“I think that will be a big part of it. I think I can manage a marathon a day, it’s just going to be how do I recover, and will I be recovering well enough to sustain that slow, aerobic endurance pace that I’m envisioning in my mind.”

The plan is to run about four-and-a-half hours a day. He’s been running twice a day and having strength sessions to prepare.

“I’ve been enjoying it and it’s been exciting. I think the more I get my mind wrapped around what I have to do, and what I am doing and why I’m doing it, the more and more excited I am.

“The Alzheimer Society, it’s just something we’ve always rallied around. It’s got a special place in our hearts and I just feel that being in this (pandemic) environment that we’re in right now, they are definitely in need of funds, for sure.”

Papadakos said an online pledge form for his marathon fundraiser will be available through the Alzheimer Society website.

You can reach out to Papadakos at

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