You can talk to 100 runners, and get 100 different reasons as to why they run and why they set goals and challenges for themselves. But for new-to-Manteo resident Evan Fiedler, he took the word challenge to a whole new level. This month Fiedler will be completing a 52-week, self-imposed challenge of running 100+ miles every week. Yes, you read that correctly – one hundred miles. Per week. For a whole year.
The actual mileage covered over the 365-day period will be just over 5,510 miles. That is equivalent to running just over 210 marathons or 420 half marathons.
To give some perspective on how far that actually is, here are a few distances to consider…
From Manteo –
to Los Angeles is 2,400 miles
to Seattle is 2,501 miles
to Anchorage, Alaska is 3,579 miles
to Moscow, Russia is 5,006 miles
to Athens, Greece is 5,203 miles
His final run and remaining miles of The Streak will conclude with his running of the Outer Banks Marathon on November 13, 2016.
For Fiedler, The Streak started out as an internal curiosity as to whether he could actually do this. It then became a true test of endurance and perseverance. And working as a full-time Assistant Professor of Life Sciences at College of The Albemarle, time management was the most demanding facet of the challenge. He had frequent pre-dawn jaunts starting between 3 and 4 a.m. and some two-a-days with very short recovery times. There were 110+ heat index days and lightening storms. He also altered his sleep habits from sleeping overnight to multiple short naps. Many times throughout the year he just wanted to quit, especially during difficult work weeks and while traveling with family.
Through this process he witnessed many stunning sunrises and learned a few things along the way. “You find out a lot about yourself out there,” says Fiedler. “When you have a goal, there is no room for compromise, or the goal will not be met. It’s a straight line that you must continue along even when life throws you challenges. Schedules will change, but the goal (the miles) still need to be run. But if you can get 50 miles done by Tuesday, your week is more manageable.”
Surprisingly, Fiedler hasn’t always been a runner. He started running in August 2001 (at age 33) just to see if he could actually complete a marathon. And now, fifteen years later, he will be completing his 41st full marathon. Over the years, he has placed in his age group in the 5K, 8K, 10K , half marathon, and full marathon and has coined this accomplishment the “Age Group Grand Slam.”
On November 13th he will be crossing the finish line, glad to be done, and The Streak complete. What’s next for Fiedler? Being that he is a very goal-oriented person, he says, “My next goal will be reading more books and learning to play piano. You know, activities that do not include running.” At least not for awhile. ♦
Top photo: Fiedler post-race at the Southernmost Marathon in Key West, FL in October 2016. Fiedler is also an author of several books on running, training, and the love and history of baseball. They can be found on Amazon.