Today’s guest has a long list of running achievements.
His achievements range from a 2600-day running streak to the completion of all 6 marathon majors, and he is also close to running a marathon in every state.
I am looking forward to hearing about that and a lot more as I go a few easy miles with Ken the Hobo Runner!
Things Got Serious Quick
Ken the Hobo Runner first got into running while in high school and found that he had some talent.
It was during that period of his that life that he fell in love with the sport.
He admittedly got lazy in college and didn’t run as consistently.
His wake-up call came when he tried to run a marathon with zero training while in college.
Ken the Hobo Runner quickly realized that he was no longer 18 anymore and needed to train.
Things quickly became serious with running after that first marathon.
In the last decade, running has become a central element of his life.
Looking back, Ken the Hobo Runner realized that he went into that first marathon with an invincibility mentality.
He was a student at Boston College (BC), hence the Boston Marathon was a huge event every year.
Ken the Hobo Runner vividly recalls cheering on the runners in Boston during his freshman year.
He couldn’t stop thinking that he should be out there with those runners and made it a goal to run it the following year.
When Boston rolled around in 2012, he wasn’t prepared at all but still lined up at the start.
He cruised through the first half, but a too-quick start came back to affect him in the latter part of the race.
Ken the Hobo Runner was humbled by the marathon distance in that very first race.
A Local Secret
As a Boston resident, Ken the Hobo Runner, learned about a local secret that used to be commonplace in the Boston Marathon.
Banditing is running a race without having formally registered as a participant.
Prior to the Boston bombing that occurred in 2013, thousands of people used to bandit the race.
According to Ken the Hobo Runner, banditing the race was a part of the local culture until after 2013.
Since then he has qualified for the race multiple times and ran it as a registered participant.
He ran both the 2013 and 2014 Boston and those were defining moments in his life.
A Defining Moment
Ken the Hobo Runner had just crossed over the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon when the bombs went off.
He felt the shockwaves of the blast and that moment would forever change his life.
Afterward, Ken the Hobo Runner experienced serious PTSD and also lost his love of running.
In the immediate months after the event, Ken the Hobo Runner was supported by people near and far.
That support slowly began to drop off as time went on.
He felt that the world had moved on, but he was stuck.
The year following the bombing, he was doing some running, but his heart wasn’t in it.
The terrorists had taken away the most important thing to him.
The Lowest Day Of His Life
The one-year anniversary of the Boston bombing was the lowest day of his life.
Ken the Hobo Runner felt he needed to run the marathon again in order to move forward.
Previously he had always run the race in full Boston College bodypaint and he wanted to stick with his tradition.
He was stressed leading up to the race and the experience wasn’t what he had hoped.
After the lowest day of his life, he began to climb up and begin living again.
Four months after Boston 2014, Ken the Hobo Runner fell in love with life again.
Since he began running again, he has completed all 6 stars in the Marathon Majors all run in full body paint.
He also realized that there are other marathons besides Boston and he could actually enjoy them.
Leaving His Comfort Zone
Ken the Hobo Runner has completed almost 100 marathons in the last 5 years.
He has learned how to travel and race on a shoestring budget out of necessity.
It was 8 years ago when he was hit by a car while cycling.
He suffered a traumatic brain injury which would end up costing him his home and his business.
Ken the Hobo Runner was homeless for a period, but he was determined not to give up doing what he loved.
He swallowed his pride and reached out to various race directors asking what he could do to “earn his keep” and be able to race for free.
Going through those hard times has taught Ken the Hobo Runner to accept the help of strangers.
He also learned that life begins where his comfort zone ends.
Ken the Hobo Runner has a lot to look forward to.
He is nearing the end of his quest to run a marathon in every state.
In October of this year, he will run a marathon in Maryland which will conclude his 50-state goal.
He is also working on a book to share his experiences and lessons from his time as a runner.
His new life is built on the belief that there is more good in the world than bad.
Motion is life for him and it has gotten him through a lot of rough periods in life.
His motto when it comes to running and life is, “left foot, right foot, faceplant,” because, in the end, it’s still forward progress.
Mentioned In This Episode:
- Royal National Institute for Deaf People (RNID)
- Ken the Hobo Runner 2013 Boston Marathon Blog
- Abbott World Marathon Majors
Stay connected to Ken the Hobo Runner by following him on Instagram.
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