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Hit the ground running

Hit the ground running

Jeaneen Parsons June 13, 2018

Total miles: 27,169.4. That’s a trip around the earth with 2,268.4 miles to spare. Or a jog across the Great Wall of China, twice. Or to the top of the Empire State Building 98,653 times. Or for UD MBA graduate Denny Fryman, that’s 1,038 marathons (and counting).

Denny Fryman2018 marks Fryman’s 40th year running marathons. He credits his persistence to running partner and mentor Sy Mah, whom he met during his fourth marathon. Mah recognized Fryman’s potential to become a mega-marathoner, someone who competes many times a year, and encouraged him to keep running.

“After each race, Sy and I would celebrate and them immediately plan our next one,” Fryman said. Mah passed away in 1988 but his words continue to inspire Fryman to this day: “Always stay hungry.”

And he has. Running an average of 20 marathons a year has earned Fryman, 70, the rank of No. 4 in North America and No. 22 in the world for completed marathons.

“Running is part of my identity. I rarely run with anyone — it’s my alone time with God, nature and my surroundings to let go and sort things out,” Fryman said. “The runner’s high does exist. I call it being ‘in the zone,’ and it’s the main reason I continue to run.”

Fryman spent 30 years in banking and as an adjunct instructor at the college level before moving to Florida where he now has a third career as a concierge with Disney. For more than 17 years he’s been greeting guests, always on the lookout for fellow Flyers. “I can’t wait to ‘talk UD’ with guests — we UD grads are amazing!”

Fryman also golfs, loves to read, mostly the Bible and inspirational or motivational books, and spending time with his wife of 45 years, Dorann, and their two daughters and grandchildren.

“Hopefully I can continue to run as long as I am physically able,” Fryman said. “I love the feeling of being ‘free’ that running gives me. I get in a place where my body, mind and spirit come together as one. The feeling is incredible.”

As of press time, Fryman has completed 1,047 marathons.