Last year, 760 of you joined in for this popular if outrageous Run Challenge, which was the largest total by far since we began. This 13th annual edition is almost as popular as last year's; 720 of you entered, and that's our second-largest participant total.
As a reminder, the goal is to run 100 times in 100 days, or come as close as you can to it (without injuring yourself!). We began on December 1, and today we begin the second half.
At the Challenge’s end, last year, there were 153 finishers who completed at least 90 runs in 100 days (gold or platinum medalists!), and 38 of you got in at least 110 runs. A lot of folks are getting the hang of it between last year and this: At our current pace, if you all keep it up, we'll smash these totals.
Of course, lots of bad things can happen in the second 50 days. But some of you were slow starters this year. Here’s a recent progress report from TriStart: “Since posting that on Dec 20 things have been going really well actually. Gradually progressing from no medal, to a bronze medal to a silver medal. Now at 42 runs, didn't miss a single 30min run since the last posting. Slowly added a little more distance, but I've done 4 consecutive weeks of about 50km, and I've never done more than 2 consecutive weeks with 50k before.”
But others are starting to feel the weight of the challenge. Paul Davis writes on our support thread, “Halfway through, one run down (no worries), but 100/100 this year is not going well for me. No injuries so far (unlike last year), but over the last month my runs have just become steadily worse, not better.” To Paul and the others in his position, it’s okay to take days off. Paul and I have the same number of runs at this point. I’ve taken (I believe) 4 days off. Maybe 5. But Paul also notes his change of life venue. He lives in the Sangre de Cristos now. Louis Lamour country. Tough running there, Paul! Cowboy up!
Platinum, Gold, Silver and Bronze levels means 100, 90, 80 and 70 runs completed in 100 days, and there remain more than 250 of you who are in “medal contention”.
bluestacks867 hit 220 last year, superhuman. He’s at 283 and rolling – meaning yes, he’s on a pace for 566 runs in 100 days, and he’s got 856 miles in the can already. That’s 17 miles a day; that’s a 120-mile week, every week.
But he doesn’t do that exactly. bluestacks will hit difficulty, recover, and then come back for more. He posts his progress on the support thread. For 3 consecutive days between Christmas and New Years he ran only 3 miles each day (that is to say, he had a lot of days that I consider a success, but for him are rest days or setbacks).
bluestacks posts all the injury and illness struggles: patellofemoral pain syndrome, achilles tendonitis, cuboid syndrome, plantar fasciitis. He runs 3 miles at a time. No more than that. Over and over. Up to 10 runs in a day, or even more. Usually on Zwift. Usually on May Field (Zwift’s new track). I see him there regularly, as I do a lot of my own running on May Field. On the 17th of January, 3 days ago, he logged 9 of these 3-mile runs, followed by half-dozen on the 18th. So, 45 miles over those two days.
Highest quality so far is the Uber-AGer Dan Stubleski, who’s in 4th currently with a 109 runs, 3rd in total distance with 607 miles, but at the highest average pace of 6:53 per mile. But this is slow for him, as he’s rehabbing a broken trochanter suffered in a bike crash.
Right there on the quality scale is qintegral, who’s transitioned to pure runner. He’s 8th in the standings with 84 runs but has both a high average pace of 7:36 and a high overall miles of 685. That’s 13.7 miles a day, every day, for 50 days.
Among the women, LKTriMom is threatening the top-10; MandRuns and MistressK are each at least a half-dozen runs ahead of the 1-per-day pace; Dr. Tigerchik and Diana are on 1-for-1 pace; and this accounting omits the users who’re women and I’m just naïve to their gender.
As for me, I only need 12 more runs to match my last year’s total of 60. I started very slowly. Every run of every day was an exercise in preserving my capacity to run the following day. I ran my first double only after running singles for more than 3 weeks. Right at about 40 days in, I started to feel as if I could run higher quality runs after about the 40th day, and I have sped up some of my runs accordingly. But my goal remains 100 runs, or as close as I can come to it, so the goal of every run remains the capacity to run again tomorrow. I’m heading out for my 50th run right now.