Tammy Dotson completed the Tokyo Marathon on March 3, her sixth Major World Marathon, earning her the Six Star Medal and the title of Six Star Finisher. (Photo credit: @marcantomatteiphotography.)

On March 3, Riverview resident Tammy Dotson joined an elite group of worldwide runners with her Tokyo Marathon finish. Dotson, age 49 and an Air Force veteran, became a Six Star Finisher, completing the six largest and most renowned marathons in the world.

The six Major World Marathons consist of three in the Unites States in Chicago, New York and Boston and three overseas in Berlin, London and Tokyo. The Six Star Finisher feat is not an easy one to accomplish, not just because of the miles involved but also because of the selection process to compete in the esteemed marathons.

Dotson completed New York in 2018, Chicago (her favorite and fastest of the six with a time of 4:44:30) in 2019, Berlin in 2019, Boston in 2022 and London in 2023.

Dotson ran her first marathon in 2006 after receiving a notice in the mail inviting her to an information session about doing something meaningful. She went to the session having no idea what it was about, and she ended up running the Kona marathon in Hawaii.

“I had no idea what it was. I showed up at the information session and they were talking about creating a charity team to do a marathon. Never in a million years would I have imagined myself doing a marathon,” Dotson said. “I tell people I did it because I needed something to occupy my time and my mind.”

After a friend completed seven marathons in seven continents in seven days, Dotson was inspired with friends to earn the Rock ’n’ Roll Running Series Hall of Fame (which needs the completion of nine Rock ’n’ Roll Running Series marathons or half-marathons). Then, they decided to work towards their Six Star Finish.

“I am grateful to have had the opportunity because not everybody does. I run for those that can’t,” Dotson said.

Dotson loves running because it is a stress relief for her and a way to encourage other people.

“You’d be surprised what the human body can achieve once we put our mind to it. It starts in the mind. A made-up mind is unstoppable,” Dotson said.

Now an accomplished endurance athlete, Dotson has completed 17 marathons (Marine Corps PR, 4:34) and the IRONMAN 70.3 Chattanooga. Her next goal is to complete a half marathon in all 50 states before she turns 50 in January. She has 7 to go.

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