LONDONDERRY — Many races are important in New Hampshire, from gubernatorial to presidential, but Matthew Codner is spreading the Granite State way of life by running around the country — literally.
Codner served in the U.S. Marine Corps for four years and went on to graduate from Columbia University in New York; but he will have his biggest challenge yet as he represents New Hampshire in the ING Marathon in New York on Nov. 4.
Codner, a Londonderry native, has been running marathons for years.
“My first two marathons were extremely painful,” he said. “It didn’t feel fun anymore.”
Still, he prevailed. Codner has run races all across the country, from Atlantic City to Washington, D.C.
The ING marathon features a runner from each state, and even a few from different countries, he said.
On Sunday, Codner will run 26.2 miles through the streets of New York City, bearing the historic Old Man and the Mountain on his shirt.
The image of a New Hampshire native conjures up different images, but Codner has been spreading the Granite State mindset during his marathons.
“Just in life, you end up being an ambassador for New Hampshire,” he said. “If you travel far, the first conversation is where you are from. I try to make a representative of the state.”
Codner chose the Old Man on the Mountain to go along with his title as ambassador because of its historical significance, he said.
This will be Codner’s sixth marathon and his first in New York, but each city is different and unique, he said.
Codner said crowd members clapping and cheering does make a big difference, it can give runners that extra push they need when approaching the finish line.
No matter where he runs, Codner always has New Hampshire on his mind.
“Live free or die, that’s what it’s all about,” he said.