TNCC Faculty Karl DeBate Qualifies for Boston Marathon


Published: March 3, 2006

THE VIRGINIA PENINSULA –Karl DeBate, Department Head of the Physical Education department at Thomas Nelson Community College, has qualified to participate in the 110th Annual Boston Marathon, one of the oldest and most popular professional marathons in the world. The marathon will be held on April 17 in Boston, Massachusetts. About 20,000 professional and amateur runners from all over the world will compete for a chance to win this internationally recognized sporting event.

Being selected to participate in the Boston Marathon, however, was not an easy task. DeBate has been training for several months running 40 to 50 miles a week. In October, he participated in the 30th Annual Marine Corps Marathon held in Washington D.C. where he completed the 26.2 miles in 3 hours and 6 minutes. He finished 190th of 25,000 runners. With these results, he also won a chance to participate in the Boston Marathon. Karl had participated in the Boston Marathon in 2001. His goal was to have another opportunity to be part of this event. On April 17, his goal will be fulfilled.

For DeBate, running in the Boston Marathon is not about winning; it is about motivating himself and his students to stay healthy and fit. “I can’t think of a better way to teach my students and keep them motivated than by example,” he says. “My job allows me to practice what I preach. I teach the students various sports and the benefits of staying healthy and fit. The students see me practicing healthy habits, like exercising and eating healthy.” Since joining Thomas Nelson Community College in fall 04, DeBate has been teaching various fitness and sports classes such as yoga, aerobics, tennis, among others.

DeBate ‘s passion for sports developed at a very young age. His father was also an active and avid runner who was very concerned about keeping his family in good health and fit for life. DeBate extended his passion for sports into his professional life. In 1988, he graduated from Frostburg State University in Maryland with a degree in Physical Education. He then pursued a Masters degree in Education with an emphasis on Exercise Science from Frostburg State University.
DeBate lives in Smithfield with his wife Rita who is an Assistant Professor of Community and Environmental Health at Old Dominion University.
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