Banjo Marathon

John Longmire trains for the Country Music MarathonNo, it’s not a marathon of banjo picking…well, yes it is actually. But it’s an actual marathon as well, you know, the kind that involves running.

The 2009 Country Music Marathon in Nashville takes place this Saturday and John Longmire, of Knoxville, TN, will be playing the banjo while he runs the 26.2 mile course. Longmire is raising money to benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

Those of you who play the banjo know just how heavy one of those magical combinations of metal and wood are. Gibson is assisting Longmire by providing him with an Epiphone MB-100 open-back banjo. This instrument will be lighter than a traditional bluegrass banjo, not to mention less valuable. Longmire was worried it might rain during the race and damage a more expensive instrument.

Even with the lighter banjo, Longmire is still estimating that the addition of the instrument and the effort to coordinate running and picking at the same time, will add an hour to his time. Last year he ran the marathon in 4:20:39, without the banjo of course.

So, 26 miles of running and 5+ hours of banjo picking. I think that qualifies as a banjo marathon! has the original story.