Runners often make lists of challenges, goals they want to accomplish
I was reading an article in the Texas Co-op Power magazine this week. The article highlighted Jon Walk, a runner who started running for health and to lose some of his 300 pounds. Jon has a habit of making lists of his runs. One list he wanted to complete was to run at least one mile in every county in Texas. So far he has run in 375 town and cities across the nation. Texas has 254 counties and Jon is well on his way to making his list complete with 196 counties counted so far. He has run in temperatures from below freezing to 100 degree hot Texas summers. One difficult part of running in every county is that some counties are not very populated and finding a race in the county is a problem. He said, “Loving County in West Texas only has 34 people, so it’s a little unreasonable to expect them to organize any kind of race.” He said he found a caliche road and waved at cows as he ran by.
Because of running in counties all over Texas Jon has started other lists. One list is to visit and get a snack at all the 34 Buc-cee’s gas stations. He has visited 20 of them so far. He is in the process of visiting baseball stadiums all over the country. This includes minor league, high school, and college stadiums as well. He says, “I just want to keep seeing as many places and things as I can until I run out of time and money.” And he might as well get a run in while he is visiting the site.
Runners have several challenges that seem to attract them. One is to run a marathon in all 50 states in the United States. There is a special group of runners that have accomplished this feat. It seems that in some less populated states there is only a few marathons each year and only at a specific time of the year. One such area are in the North and South Dakota states where running is a summer sport and only a few marathons are held. Trying to coordinate travel to some of these distant states is a real challenge. There are times when one marathon is on Saturday and another marathon in another state is on Sunday. Running in 50 states is not necessarily an inexpensive list to complete.
Another list runner’s look to as a challenge is to run a marathon in all the continents. While some countries have a strong running community it is easy to find a marathon. One of the most difficult is running a marathon in Antarctica. No matter when the marathon is held a runner will be running in snow and freezing temperatures. There are some continents that a runner needs to be selective in which country in that continent looks upon runners favorably. This is especially true for women runners in some countries.
It is a matter of preference for a runner as to what sort of list they want to make. Easier lists include running every marathon in Texas. At least travel is in one state. Granted Texas is a big state and travel may take a weekend to compete. Another list might be running as many different distances as a runner can. Looking over the various race calendars this can include a large number. From one mile to 100 miles, 5K’s, 8 K’s, 10 K’s, 15K’s, 50 K’s, half marathons and full marathons the list can be a challenge.
A non-running person has to understand that for a runner, running often becomes an addiction. One of the more frequent lists is a “streak”. A streak is the number of consecutive days a runner completes. Some runners lists for a streak runs into several years. The point of making a list for a challenge is something that runners often do. The list can be short or long. Maybe a local runner wants to run every race that is held in San Marcos as their list. That list is easy to complete and travel is not a problem. The toughest part is if the distance is longer, such as a half marathon, the runner needs to be in good shape.
If running is not your favorite form of exercise there are other lists to make. Maybe being a volunteer at a race. How many jobs can you help with at race? From course set up, registration, announcing at a race, and handing out awards there will always be a long list of volunteer tasks to fill. How about being a sponsor of a race and seeing how many race shirts you can have your name on as a sponsor. That might be an expensive list but one that race organizers are always willing to accept.
At one time or another many people make some form of a list. It might be a list of tasks to do for the day as an example. Runners just have their own lists that they put down as a challenge.