DEADWOOD — The Mickelson Trail Marathon is a huge race for the running community. Tim Dischinat, however, has already run and won an infinitely more significant race.
Dischinat completed his first half-marathon in Deadwood Sunday. The 26-year-old resident of Nazareth, Pa., is six years removed from testicular cancer.
Daily running was one of the things Dischinat did when he received a clean bill of health.
Spectators found it easy to identify Dischinat. He ran the 13.1-mile course in a Batman costume, complete with a mask he donned on certain occasions.
“I’ve always been a huge Batman fan,” Dischinat said. He ran in a 12-mile Pennsylvania race and was asked to compete in Sunday’s event.
Dischinat said he wanted to lift people’s spirits and morale; he succeeded. He also drew the attention of those gathered outside the finish line.
Prior to the cancer diagnosis, Dischinat weighed 288 pounds. He now tips the scales at 185 pounds.
“My goal was to finish and not spend a lot of time walking,” Dischinat said. He wanted to finish in fewer than three hours and crossed the finish line in 2:23:50.
Dischinat ran with his mask on for the first four miles. He then removed it to prevent it from becoming sweat-soaked.
“When I got to the stands and kids, I put it back on,” Dischinat said of the mask. He ran that way for the final two miles.
Dischinat already has his eyes set on a return engagement next year. He is in the Air Force at Ellsworth, works as a broadcast journalist, and hopes to train for the full 26.2-mile marathon.
“Keep your spirits high, and do the best you can,” Dischinat said.
The half-marathon field boasted a multinational flavor. Vanessa West of Wawota, Saskatchewan, Canada, ran her first 13.1-mile race.