Dr. Holmes was also a running fanatic. Since beginning Army Officer Candidate School in 1977, he ran over 175,000 kilometers (109,000 miles, more than four times the circumference of the earth). These miles include:

  • Completed 782 marathons including 114 ultramarathons (although 10 were virtual during the pandemic so are not counted by most clubs). Before a damaged knee curtailed distance running, he ranked 13th among all-time US runners and 73rd in the world.
  • -- At least seven marathons in every US state and DC (missing 4 states from an 8th completion when the pandemic cancelled races).
  • -- At least five marathons in all 13 Canadian provinces and territories (world record).
  • -- At least five marathons on every continent (the second runner to have accomplished this).
  • -- A streak of 2,490 consecutive days without missing a daily run and accumulating 20,744 miles (8.3 miles/day) during the streak.
  • At least one marathon in 129 different countries, ranking 2nd in the US and 3rd in the world among runners who submit their foreign marathon races for independent verification.
  • At least one full marathon on 75 different islands.
  • 110 marathons run entirely on islands.
  • 194 marathons and ultramarathons, run off-road through forest, mountain, polar, or desert trails.
  • --- In 2010, he was 2nd in the over-60 category carrying a 35 pound back-pack through the desert sands of the Bataan Death March Memorial Marathon.
  • --- In 2011, he won the 60-and-over category in the 50 mile trail run at the New Jersey ultra festival.
  • --- In 2012 he won the 60-and-over category in both the Egyptian Marathon in Luxor and the Hogeye Marathon in Arkansas, and took third in his age group in the world's most northerly marathon in Spitsbergen on the Svalbard Achipelago north of Norway.
  • --- In 2012, he won the overall Day 5 marathon of the Savage Seven, despite the field including fresh first day racers and it being his fifth consecutive day of running a marathon race.
  • --- On New Years Day of 2013, he won the overall Savage 7 race with the lowest cumulative time for seven consecutive daily marathons (averaging 4:46 a race), besting second place by almost six hours.
  • --- In 2013, he became the only person to have run a marathon in Antarctica wearing a head-to-foot penguin suit, and completed the "Run with the Horses" marathon in Wyoming wearing a horse!
  • --- In an eight day period in 2013, he completed a 100K race (62.1 miles), climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro, and then ran the Mt. Kilimanjaro marathon, being the oldest finisher in all 3 events.
  • --- In 2014, he completed the Polar Bear Challenge on the ice cap of Greenland wearing ice pitons, the oldest finisher in a half-marathon followed by a full marathon on consecutive days colder than 12 deegrees F (-12 C).
  • --- In 2014, he became the first runner ever to complete 3 marathons in each of the 10 provinces and 3 territories of Canada.
  • --- In 2014, he completed the marathon on Ile de Mauritius (Indian Ocean) to complete marathons on islands in each of the five oceans and on all 7 continents in a single year.
  • --- In 2014, he ran 56 marathon races or longer in 28 US states, two Canadian province/territories, and 14 other countries, including 9 ultramarathons of 50K or longer.
  • --- In 2015, he was the oldest by 13 years to complete at least 95 miles in the Delirium 24 Hour Trail Race.
  • --- In 2015, he completed his 5th Antarctica marathon, becoming only the second runner to have run five marathons on all seven continents.
  • --- In 2015, he was 12th of 29 finishers (counting only those who finished all five days) in running the "Dustbowl" series of five marathons in five states in five days, two days after he completed a marathon in a sixth state.
  • --- In 2015, he was 11th of 26 finishers in the Run For the Ranch 6 Hour Endurance Run despite being 5 years older than any other finisher and 13 years older than anyone ahead of him.
  • --- In 2016, he won the senior masters and was the oldest finisher at the Carthage Marathon in Tunis.
  • --- In 2016, he set a new world record on October 23rd in the "Legs for Literacy" Marathon in Moncton, New Brunswick (Canada) by completing his fourth marathon in each of Canada's 13 provinces and territories.
  • --- In 2016, he ran 63 marathon races or longer in 23 US states, 5 Canadian province/territories, and 20 other countries, including 8 ultramarathons of 50K or longer.
  • --- On New Years Day of 2017, he was 2nd overall for the Savage 7 race with the lowest cumulative time for seven consecutive daily marathons, besting third place by more than 30 minutes.
  • --- In 2017, in a 27 day period he ran two trail ultramarathons and five marathons in five different countries.
  • --- In 2017, he completed the Diacore Gaborone Marathon in Botswana for his 100th country.
  • --- In 2017, at age 68, he completed a trail 50K in northern Indiana in deep snow and winds (-15C), where 70% of entrants did not start or did not finish.
  • --- In 2018, he completed five trail ultramarathons (50K or longer races) in 21 days.
  • --- In 2018, in a 9 day span, he completed two 50Ks and four marathons in two countries and five US states.
  • --- In 2018, he completed three trail races over 44 miles in length each.
  • --- In 2018, following a 2 day rest after a marathon, he completed five consecutive 50Ks (31 mile races) in five days in five US states, all over 3,000 feet (900 meters) elevation, and was more than a decade older than any other runner completing these.
  • --- On 4 November 2018, he set a new world record with a 5th completion (running a marathon or ultramarathon) in all 13 provinces and territories of Canada. (In the same race, he raised over $7,000 for Ronald McDonald Houses, which give families a place to stay near their hospitalized child.)
  • --- On 10 November 2018, he completed an ultra-marathon in Wichita, Kansas to complete a 7th circuit of marathons or ultra marathons in all 50 USA states and the district of Columbia. (In the same 12 hour race, he ran over 46 miles to finish in the top half of the field (and of males) despite nearing his 69th birthday.)
  • --- On 31 December 2018, he achieved new lifetime personal records for a calendar year in both number of marathons (64) and within those, number of ultra-marathons (25).
  • --- On 1 January 2019 at the age of 69, he won the overall "Savage 7" competition by about an hour less combined time in running 7 marathons on 7 consecutive days. It was also his final race in a string of 417 consecutive marathons without a "DNF" (Did Not Finish).
  • --- On 14 March 2019, he completed 6 marathons in 6 different countries, in 12 days.
  • --- On 29 June 2019 at the age of 69, he ran 53.2 miles in the sunrise-to-sunset Titletown Trail Ultra in Green Bay, WI, beating all within 20 years of his age and finishing in the top fourth of runners.
  • --- In July and August 2019, he was the oldest finisher and won his age group in the Whiterock Conservancy Ultra (Iowa) and Bennett 12 Hour Race (Vermont).
  • --- On 31 August 2019, he finished in the top third of finishers, top third of males, and set a personal best for distance (48.2 miles) in a 12 hour race at the St Albans Stampede (UK).
  • --- In February 2020, he completed two tropical equatorial marathons in Africa (Nigeria and The Gambia), a 12 hour mountain trail race (the last six hours while snowing), a road marathon near Washington DC, and a 50K through deep sand, sharp hills, and numerous water crossings in Louisiana (USA).
  • --- On 7 March 2020, at age 70, running an 11 hour overnight forest trail in his final race before the pandemic, his 36 miles was 18th of the 59 runners and 9th among the 36 males. This completed his 10th ultramarathon to match his 10 regular marathons in the first 10 weeks of 2020 prior to the pandemic cancelling all future planned races.
  • --- In the pandemic remainder of 2020, he completed 12 virtual marathons (using a Garmin GPS to record and submit time and distance for each charitable event) as well as one socially-distanced and safe marathon and one ultra-marathon. The latter was a 12 hour trail race through deep mud from Hurricane Delta, limiting him to 33.4 miles, in the middle of the field while being decades older than the other runners.
  • --- In the month of September of 2020, he raised the most money both as an individual and on the highest-fund-raising team for the Ronald McDonald House in New York City. His 512 miles run in the event was 185 more miles than the second place runner and his highest mileage month of his running career of 42 years. He also was the event's greatest donor, donating more than five times as much as the second largest donor.
  • --- In the seven-day-long EBF3-HADDS fund-raiser in October 2020, he completed 102 miles to lead all participants.
Dr. Holmes running in Antarctica

Dr. Holmes (in white and blue) descending a glacier
during a marathon in Antarctica.