by Fred Joslyn
Today, April 13, 2023, I ran my 100,000 mile. It was just another mile.
Running 100,000 miles is not something I ever set out to do. It seems like accomplishing a major achievement should be something that you set as a goal, and you work hard to accomplish. However, that isn’t really what happened. I fell in love with running almost as soon as I started. I played various sports growing up and enjoyed them very much, but the success was often determined by others–teammates, coaches, opponents. In running, you are solely responsible for your success. I recognized that concept and fell in love with the idea that my hard work would directly correlate with my success. The more I ran, the faster I got. So I kept running more. My hunger for running started while running high school cross country, continued as I ran collegiately, and has certainly extended into my post-collegiate career. In high school, running at 5:30 a.m. before school to get in extra miles became part of my daily routine. Increasing my mileage to 100 miles per week led to a successful collegiate career.
When it came to running, I was always driven. I won a division III NCAA title at 5,000 meters. After college, I qualified for the USA Olympic Marathon trials in 2012. I was not the only person running 100 miles per week, but what was unique is that I did it consistently. Running became my passion. I enjoyed every aspect of it– the competition, the stress release, the camaraderie with teammates, and the sense of self worth. I averaged over 100 miles per week for the entire decade of my 20’s. I didn’t take days off from running. I still don’t. I have not missed a day of running in over 19 years.
When I was younger, the primary motivation for me was to be the fastest runner I could be. I have had the joy of winning more than 200 races in my career. As I’ve gotten older, although I still very much try to be the fastest runner I can, my motivations have changed. I’m not trying to win every race I enter. I run now because I love it. When I run, I feel all my stress melt away. I love being outside, moving my body, and taking in the sights and sounds. When I travel, I love running to explore. Running 100,000 miles wasn’t a chore for me. I am simply doing what I love. I often tell people they should train for races that they are excited about. For me, I’m not training for a specific goal anymore–I’m training for the love of running.
After telling a few people that I hit 100,000 lifetime miles, I was told that it appears that I am the youngest person to ever accomplish that feat. While there is no official world record, Amby Burfoot of Runners World Magazine has some data that suggests I have in fact become the youngest recorded person to run 100,000 miles at age 39 years 60 days.
To put this in perspective, running 100,000 miles at my exact age works out to 6.99 miles per day from the day I was born until now. I am pretty excited to close in on 7.00 as I’ve often regarded 7 as my lucky number. This just might be worthy of another tattoo.