The Raven and His Runners

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Apr.3.20

How have you been with new year’s resolutions? Honestly, I have just given up on even having one. On the other hand, Robert Kraft from Miami, FL (not the owner of the New England Patriots), has been keeping up with his resolution from 1975. You may know him by his nickname, Raven. Raven’s resolution was to run eight miles every day and has not missed a day since January 1, 1975.

Raven started this resolution at age 24, and now he’s coming close to 70. Since he started on Jan 1, 1975, it has been 16,526 days as of March 31, 2020. At eight miles a day, that comes out to 132,208 miles of running.

Let’s put this into perspective:

But Raven’s not running alone. His followers call themselves the Raven Runners and there’s over 2,600 of them. It’s easy to run along (if an eight-mile run is easy), all you have to do is go to their website, ravenrun.net, and find out when and where they’re meeting. There’s no medal, certificate or anything at the end, but you do get a nickname. The nicknames vary and can be all over the place. Here are just a few I’ve seen plus some commentary.

  • Taxman
  • Poutine (personal favorite Canadian creation)
  • Skunk Ape (a step down from a Liger)
  • White Lightning
  • Yabba Dabba Do
  • Nasty Nude (me too)

While the Raven Runners may be running in a group, it is never a race. Raven never participates in races, despite being in excellent shape for his age. He believes that running is for someone to feel free without the burdens of race fees, personal records and more. In fact, his philosophy is that a runner starts having fun when you’re not pushing the limits. However, runners can track how many runs they’ve done with Raven on the RavenRun website and see where they are compared to other runners.

If you thought the eight miles were a lot, let’s add on 60 pull-ups and 100 push-ups. That’s what Raven does before each workout for his strength-training. While you might think this 69-year old, going on 70, should be slowing down, there’s no stopping him. He’s been through seven hurricanes, concussions, food poisoning, the flu, jellyfish stings and whatever life has thrown at him. But how many days has he skipped? Zero. 

I have never done an eight-mile run for the sake of running. And aside from sleeping and eating, I don’t think I’ve had any kind of daily streak since I was 24 (and I’m only 27). Raven’s dedication and passion seems to be infectious with more and more people joining him on his runs. Maybe if I find myself in Miami sometime, I’ll join him for an eight-miler.

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