Delaware · Delaware State Parks · Runners World Run Streak · Uncategorized

{The Streak Continues} An interview with a 400+ day streaker

As I was browsing along Twitter on my day off yesterday I noticed a tweet of a fellow Delawarean stating he had just completed his 446th day of his run streak. I saw it, liked it and thought that is awesome- then I went back and really read what it said. 446 DAY RUN STREAK- HOLY COW!

I started thinking how I had done a few minor run streaks and how I found it hard to find the time to run each day or I came up with some other excuse to stop mine and really wondered a few things about this amazing long streak that Sean had going on. I figured the best way to get all my questions answered would be to feature him on the blog for an interview! So without any more of my babbling I present you with Sean: the man with a 400+ day run streak!

First a little intro… tell the readers briefly about yourself, your job, your hobbies or anything else you want to share: I’m a native Delawarean.  I went to Newark High School and the University of Delaware. I’m currently Sports Director, high school sports reporter, and Wesley College Football play-by-play announcer for WDEL Radio and  I cover sporting events throughout Delaware and create video highlight packages and stories for radio and the internet. I started running just over 7 years ago, well after college, after being challenged by a friend to do the Lewes Polar Bear Plunge 5K (and then getting sick before it, so I started C25K the day after the 2009 plunge). Besides running, I play volleyball, tennis, and am a member of a broomball club. Despite covering sports, I wasn’t a high school athlete.  In fact, I could have tried out for the soccer team, but wasn’t willing to run the 2 miles per day because I sensed I was going to be a benchwarmer.

As of February 15th what current day of your streak are you on? Run Streak Day 446 – A simple 1.4 mile run after getting sweat-icicles falling off my hat doing a 10.5 mile run in DC on Sunday morning.  (Wind Chill 14)

Sweat Ice
After Sean’s 10.5 mile through DC- Sweat-Icicles

What inspired you to begin your run streak? I was challenged by a pair of friends to do the Runner’s World Run Streak from Thanksgiving 2014 to New Year’s Day 2015.  I’d been dealing off and on with minor injuries so it seemed like reasonable motivation. I completed what I thought would be a streak-ending 5K on New Year’s Day, and assumed that would be it, but I still felt like running the next day, and it began to take on a life of its own.

What has been the hardest part of continuing the streak? The occasional internal battle of how long I want it to continue.  Some days I wake up excited for the challenge, other days I seem to procrastinate –not sure if I’m up to it.  There are times I spend way more time wondering if I can do it, than I actually spend on the run.

1 mile sign

What do you do for work? How has your run streak impacted your daily work routine? I’m a high school sports reporter and play-by-play announcer for WDEL Radio & Delaware SportsZone.  I wouldn’t stay the run streak has impacted my daily work routine, the games are when the games are (unless we get a snowstorm).  If anything, the somewhat varying nature of my schedule, especially in the fall when Wesley College football plays on the road, plays into having to sort out when I can put the shoes on and run. Also, the second shift nature of the job can make it seasonally tough.  In the winter, you want to run in the warmest part of the day, but occasionally I have midday assignments that get in the way. In the summer, it’s more challenging because I’m not usually up at the best time to run (5-7am).  It’s led to me often adopting a strategy of running after work (usually after 11:30pm).  Midnight runs are quieter, there’s less traffic, but they’re also very dangerous.  I must complete at least the first mile of it by 11:59, and if it extends into the next day, it doesn’t count for that day, even if there’s a full mile on the other side.

The counter to your previous question, the best part of the streak have been when I’ve travelled, but still need to find places to run.  Perhaps my favorite runs have been random trails in Canton, Ohio (Stadium Park – 1.7 mile loop that looks and feels like a high school track, you can dive off it to go to the Pro Football Hall of Fame), Tybee Island, Georgia (McQueen’s Historic Island Trail, running on sand and crushed shells, beware of the gnats!), Naperville, Illinois (Riverfront Trail through the downtown district) and Kent Island, Maryland (Cross Island Trail is just excellent).  Sometimes I’ve simply had to just run around hotels to get it in, too.

mcqueen trail GA
McQueen Trail in Georgia- Crushed shells and sand

Have your friends and family been supportive or do they think you are nuts? Or both? There’s plenty of people in both of those camps.  “I can’t believe you’re doing that” is said often, but I’ve also heard “Did you do your run today, yet?” at other times. I’ve had a few high school athletes before we get into interviews ask me about the streak, which I’ve found neat.  Typically as a reporter you stay out of the way of the story, but it’s cool they’re following my athletic endeavors the same way I’m watching them go after theirs. I’ve had a few friends join me on some runs, working second shift I don’t have many who don’t have major time conflicts, but if they have a negative thought to it, they’ve done a good job keeping it away from me.

GA 5k before wedding
Sean running in a 5k Race before an out-of-town wedding

What have been the hardest conditions you have had to run in due to your running streak? Probably the hottest and the coldest runs. February 15, 2015 when it was Real Feel -25, I pretty much declared the streak over, but then ran 1.06 miles (and overheated by wearing too many layers).  Compare that to July 19 when the Real Feel was 106 (managed two miles), and there’s some variance. I also struggled after the 16-inch snowstorm last month when I underestimated how tough it is to run in deep snow.  I’d had some success running in 2-5 inches last winter, but ankle-deep snow is really, really tiring in a hurry.

Real Feel 99
Super HOT run!
Sweat Ice.png
Sweat Ice after Sean’s 10.5 Mile through DC

What advice do you have for others that may want to start a run streak? Be careful, it can be addictive.  Before the streak, I was perfectly content running three-days-a-week without a problem.  Now, it’s hard to imagine how I will feel the day it ends. Also, hopefully have a list of various places you like to run.  While I certainly have a default neighborhood run, I mix that up with about 8-10 trails/roads that at least keep things from getting too stale.

What have you learned about yourself from your run streak so far? I’ve learned I’m a little tougher than I thought.  Not every day is a great running day, but if you can get yourself going, anything is possible.

WOW is pretty much all I can say! Sean you rock! Not to be left out- Sean has completed EVERY RUN OF HIS STREAK OUTSIDE! Talk about no excuses!

We wish  you the best of luck as your streak continues! Keep on inspiring others as you head out each day! We cannot wait to see where else your streak will take you!

3 thoughts on “{The Streak Continues} An interview with a 400+ day streaker

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