Tony Gaspar | Marathon Fit
Prior to listening to you, Sally Edwards, keynote the California International Marathon Expo event in 2011, I had been working on the concept of becoming what I coin as “Marathon Fit” — in such running shape that I could run a marathon anytime with no additional training. Then during your speech you mentioned the concept and coined it “365 Fitt”. Your talk was very inspirational. I have 6-Ironman triathlons und
er my belt so I am fairly motivated but your talk inspired me even more. I decided that the best way to prove Marathon Fit was to run a marathon distance, a 26.2 mile run, each week for a year without ever skipping a week. I named the challenge 52 in 52 for 52 marathon-distance runs in 52 weeks.
I created rules for my challenge:
- A week was defined as starting at 12:01 am Monday and ending at midnight on Sunday.
- All runs were to be continuous with nature breaks allowed, and
- All runs had to be GPS confirmed or sanctioned runs.
- The minimum distance for each marathon is 26.2 miles per run.
- I could never let my running interfere with family time, important events or work.
- I would accept invitations to run with anyone who wanted company if their run coincided with my run day, even if for just a short while.
Then the questions popped up – Could I do it? How many times would I have to run in the freezing rain, sick, with too much work, while traveling…and more. And here’s what happened. I ran my first 26.2 mile marathon-distance on New Years Day 2012, hung over, with 4 hours of sleep. An ultra distant friend of mine chose the course in our local Paso Robles, California area and it turned out to be the most grueling
26.2, mountainous miles I have ever suffered. I am certain the severe pre run dehydration didn’t help. Game on. I did decide to take my nutrition and hydration very seriously after that run. I am happy to say that the challenge and commitment was an amazing experience. Each week, each run was a glorious journey, a lesson in enjoying the moment. I ran sick. I ran injured. I ran at 2:00 am sometimes. I ran on vacation.
I finished my challenge on December 31-yesterday with a glorious 26.2 mile run in Page, Arizona on an amazing snow dusted trail with an incredible 3-mile decent down a canyon to
Lake Powell. My brother in law who mapped the course, rode his mountain bike while I ran. He had never seen anyone run an entire marathon. He is inspired. A funny footnote: Because it was a leap year and how I defined a week, I had to run 54 marathons to meet the challenge.
I wanted to share a quick summary of my journey with you. I know you can appreciate it. Thank you for continuing to inspire people to higher levels of fitness and higher levels of living. Take care and God Bless! I hope to see you at the next California International Marathon and be – Marathon Fit.
Note: You can read more about Tony’s “Marathon Fit” story click here.
and, Tony must have been tired when he did the yellow hand-drawn sign in this picture because he wrote the wrong date – it should have read January 31 2013!