Personal Lives

Dinsmore Partner Runs 30 Marathons in Five Years, Gets Top-Five Ranking


James Beyer. Photo courtesy
of Dinsmore & Shohl.

Dinsmore & Shohl partner James Beyer recently finished his 30th marathon with a third-place finish in the Flying Pig Marathon in Cincinnati. And he has no plans to slow down.

Beyer, 44, is ranked in the top five nationally in his 40-44 age group, though he started running marathons just five years ago. An intellectual property partner in the firm’s Dayton office, Beyer says the exercise helps him deal with stress. He answered questions about his hobby by email. Here is an edited version of his responses:

ABA Journal: When did you start running marathons? Was this something you took up after becoming a lawyer?

Beyer: I started running marathons five years ago. I was 39 years old at the time and just wanted to run one marathon, just so I could say I had done it. Five years later, I’ve run over 30 marathons and don’t have any plans to stop. In fact, I just read an article about a 75-year-old gentleman who has run every London marathon. He started when he was in his 40s, and although he is race-walking them now, he’s still loving it.

For my part, I have found marathon running to be a great complement to my law practice and family life. I believe regular exercise helps people focus, reduce stress, and stay motivated at work and at home.

ABA Journal: How many marathons do you run in a year? How much time do you devote, on a weekly basis, to your training?

Beyer: I typically run four to six marathons a year, with one or two “destination” marathons, like Boston, the Napa Valley Marathon or the Death Valley Marathon. I have a feeling a European marathon is not too far off. Running is really my hobby, so I enjoy squeezing in a run at lunch (if I can get an early start at work) and love to break out early on a Saturday or Sunday morning for a long run.

ABA Journal: How do you find time to train for and run marathons while juggling your practice as a partner in the intellectual property group? Do you have any work-life balance tips for our readers?

Beyer: Finding time is really the hard part. Some weeks are good for a few runs, some are just impossible. I dangle the midday run as my reward and make mental notes of what I need to get done before I can take my run—some days I get there, some not. It also helps if you can get up really, really early in the morning. My wife, Julie, runs with an early-morning running group, so she gets a lot of credit for getting me on her early-morning schedule. It also helps that our kids are pretty self-sufficient. I could never have trained properly when they were younger.

ABA Journal: I understand you recently finished third in the Flying Pig Marathon in Cincinnati. What’s next? Do you have any long-term goals in terms of running or marathons?

Beyer: The Flying Pig is a great race, but please don’t encourage any of your readers to run it! I’d like to keep finishing in the top three for many years to come! One of my law partners, Frank Woodside, keeps asking me when I’m going to win the race. I’ll keep trying—maybe I’ll get lucky and the one or two fast guys that beat me each year will stay home or run the half-marathon!

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