(Dec. 2020) Gary Allen has been described as a wacky and fun-loving runner and favorite son of Maine. Home for Allen is a tiny offshore island called Great Cranberry. His family settled there in the late1600s making him a 12th generation family man. The main road is only 2 miles long, which is a fairly ridiculous place to become a long distance runner. Allen is one of three dozen runners worldwide to run a sub-three-hour marathon in five different decades (the only woman in that club is another Mainer, Joan Benoit-Samuelson).
With his long lean frame and megawatt smile, Allen holds court anywhere he goes. He’s the founder of the Mount Desert Island Marathon and the Great Run, a six-hour ultramarathon where competitors simply run back and forth on Great Cranberry Island - remember, only 2 miles long - as many times as they can.
Allen, 63, also is credited with saving an impoverished Maine town, Milllinocket, by creating a marathon there. It runs through the Maine North Woods in the middle of December. It's an unlikely destination race, but when Allen puts out the call, runners respond. One of his mantras: "Create something amazing." He has achieved this several times over.
Career-Profession? Hmmmm. I have always been an entrepreneur of sorts so classifying what I do as having a beginning or an end, such as retirement is more abstract to me