Michael McCaffrey is on a mission to run 50 marathons in each of the 50 states. Read how he got started on this ambitious journey and why he loves running here:
Describe what RUNNING is to you, in 5 words or less.
How did you get started running and/or what inspired you to run?
After having spent several years as a daily drinker, I quit drinking in 2012. I lost a ton of weight immediately. After a year, I started to regain some of that weight, so I went for a run in mid-March, 2013. That day, I could barely do a mile. Within a few weeks, I was running 5 miles, and about a year and a half after I laced up my sneakers that March day, I completed my first marathon (the Brooklyn Marathon! More inspiration to run in Brooklyn here).
Your favorite running moment?
There are so many to choose from, bit I think I am going to go with running the New York City Marathon as part of Fred's Team, which raises funds for cancer research through Memorial Sloan Kettering. With over a million people cheering from the sidewalks, and about 50,000 other runners, it's just an amazing event. And by writing my name in huge letters on the front of my shirt, I felt like a rock star, having tens of thousands of people screaming my name. And the patients and staff of MSKCC standing on First Ave, in front of the hospital, going absolutely nuts for all of us who were wearing the orange shirts of Fred's team. It was not my best run, not even close, but the overall experience of running the five boroughs of New York City is indescribable.
Who/what do you think you'd be today if you did NOT run?
I would probably be closer to the person who gave up drinking 4 years ago, overweight and listless. I am much more fit and alive today than I ever was before. I have seen more or the world in that past year, while running marathons in other states, than I ever felt when I was "living" and working in NYC
Why do you keep on running? and running and running...
I love the camaraderie, the fellowship of runners. The opportunities to travel around the country, as I attempt to run a marathon in all 50 states. I often go to cities where I know no one, and I leave with dozens, if not hundreds, of new friends.
What is your Favorite post-run/race indulgence?
Immediately after a run, I love either Muscle Milk or chocolate milk. About 2 hours after a marathon, I love nothing more than a burger. Unhealthy, yup, but it is my one BIG post-race indulgence.
Oddest, most unusual, weirdest running experience...
I can think of two. One, getting passed by a barefooted runner during the West Point Half Marathon and the other is running nearly exact same times, splits and all, with a man wearing a banana suit the entire Hartford Marathon, all while having this thought running through my head, "I'm losing to a banana?!?"
Have you ever found yourself losing a race to a piece of fruit? Have you visited each of the 50 states? Follow Michael on his quest to run a marathon in each of the 50 states via Twitter @1972marathons, on Instagram @Michael_runs_marathons, and Facebook at Michael Runs For A Cure.