50 Marathons Finishes & No Signs of Stopping
1310 miles. That distance is just a couple hundred miles shy of the length of US Highway 101 that stretches from Oregon through California. And as of the finish line at the 2014 Kiawah Island Marathon, it is also the total amount of "race miles" (not including miles of training!) run by South Carolina marathon runner, Ferris Stewart. This successfully finished marathon marking Stewart’s 50th marathon.
Even more impressive than the staggering number of marathons run by Stewart, is the time span it took him to run these 50 races. 12 years ago he started his career as a marathon runner and averaging 4 races per year successfully crossed the “50 marathon” milestone. Or should I say “1310 mile” stone!
But this tremendous accomplishment wasn’t achieved unhitched or without a decent amount of struggle and dedication by Stewart. As he spent the better part of his 50's and 60's training and participating in marathons, Ferris found factors like diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol working against him and his progress with running. To combat these he started making healthier diet choices and even dabbled a bit with vegan options. He also added yoga to his fitness routine. Through it all, Ferris kept a positive spirit and continued running and participating in marathons. Diabetes be damned.
50 marathons later, there’s no sign of Stewart slowing down his feet. In fact just weeks after the completion of his 50th marathon, he is registered to participate in a 50k run (31 miles), and is already signed up for seven full marathons throughout the course of 2015. And here I am pumped/terrified for my singular marathon next year.
To quote an interview of his with The Post and Courier of South Carolina, "Fitness is a lifetime lifestyle choice. Exercising does not take energy away from you; it gives you energy and proper stress relief for the correct mind set to face the world."
Keep running, Ferris, congratulations, and good luck with all your races in the New Year!