Thomas brothers finish QC Marathon for the 21st time

MOLINE, Illinois – Running a marathon is no doubt nerve racking.  But for Joel Thomas, nervous was an understatement.

Last fall, Joel fell off a 30-foot tree when hunting last fall and broke his hip.

But that wasn’t keeping him from his tradition of running the TBK Quad Cities Marathon.

Joel and his brother Jamie have run every Quad Cities Marathon since it started 21 years ago together - every step of the way.

They say it all started out of stupidity.

“My brother started me on it,” remembers Joel, “I was perfectly happy at 25 years-old drinking beer and smoking cigarettes.”

You’ll never see one without the other on the race route.

“It’s old habit because we always run together, but I wouldn’t do it any other way.  I couldn’t imagine running a race without him,” says Joel.

“I don’t know what it’s like not to have him, it’s just normal,” says Jamie.

And just like that, the Thomas brothers made their 21st marathon look like a piece of cake, even though it didn’t feel like it.  At the end they said they felt sore and a little nauseous.

But now that the race is over they have other plans.

“We might soak in the hot tub.  A buddy of mine has a hot tub, so might soak the muscles,” says Joel.

“And have an adult beverage,” adds Jamie.

A well-deserved beverage that is.

They are now looking forward to hunting season. But they’ll be careful this time, so they can continue their running tradition next year.