Some people like to run. Some people love to run. Then there is Michael Shattuck. If you haven’t heard his name before, you’re not alone. I didn’t know who he was until I read this profile of Michael from Outside magazine. What operates Shattuck from the millions of other runners in the world, myself included? The fact that he doesn’t just run on a daily basis, but he runs a marathon or more each and every day. More so, he plans to continue that streak for the rest of his life.
42-year old Michael lives in rural Wisconsin, which is a place that doesn’t make it easy on runners. In the summer, it can be hot and humid, and we all know Wisconsin winters are long and cold. But no matter the weather, Shattuck is out there on the road everyday, putting in the miles. Sometimes he runs as much as 65 hours a week, covering on average about 250 miles (402 km) over that time. As a guy who does somewhere in the neighborhood of 40-45 miles (64-72 km) each week, I can tell you that these numbers make my legs hurt.
As it turns out Shattuck takes inspiration from Navy SEALs, particularly some of the more famous ones like Marcus Luttrell of Lone Survivor fame and David Goggins who wrote the book Can’t Hurt Me. Goggins in particular has taken part in some major endurance races and events. But a life changing event—a friend passed away from alcohol poisoning in 2018—inspired him to start running longer distances. He had been a runner since he was in high school, but had also not taken it very seriously. With his friend’s death, he got a wake-up call that put him on his current path—a marathon a day.
That’s just the tip of the iceberg for Michael’s story however. Depressed, with serious thoughts of suicide, he found himself in a very dark and dangerous place. Eventually however, he realized the danger he was in and sought help. He also continued to run, which helped him to get healthier both physically and mentally. Now, he runs to escape those demons, but also to push himself further and prove just how far humans can go. It’s quite an inspirational story and you can read the entire thing here.
Who knows, afterwards you might even want to go for a run too.
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