He might be said to be characterized by his spontaneity, but that wouldn’t do justice to the work and dedication he’s put into his nearly lifelong passions: distance running, health and fitness, and a spirit of exploration that seems to permeate everything he does.
“We’ve been renting here for years,” he said. “It’s almost magical.”
He is taking some time on the island to recover and enjoy the “friendly, laid back, go-as-you-please” atmosphere of the place with his wife, Lisa, and their children, Patrick and Matilda.
Gary is from Cranberry Island, Maine, where he can trace his family’s roots back to 1670.
“They were some of the original settlers … Benjamin Bunker was the first settler … and that would have been my great-grandfather 12 times removed,” he said. “When Maine was part of Massachusetts the governor deeded the island to (Bunker). I think why Boca Grande feels nice to me is Cranberry's smaller than this. It's only about two miles long.”
He and his family found out about the island from friends Kim and Frank Newlin. He started coming to the area to visit them 15 years ago and fell in love with it. They look forward to a few weeks here in the spring every year.
While a trip to the island, for most people, is a chance to relax and stretch out in the sun or on the sand, Gary normally prefers to use the time here to prepare for another yearly tradition – running the Boston Marathon.
“I always come down and run pretty high mileage on the island … upwards of 100 miles a week while I’m down here and (then) go up to Boston and race,” he said. “I’ve gotten used to the sound and the feel of running on Boca Grande and I love it.”
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