Very Long Runs …

04/05/2011 - 09:56


rotish.jpg Ed Roshitsh, former Charleston, SC, business executive, is running across America – that’s nearly 2,500 miles. He began the run March 1 and plans to finish April 30 at Camp Pendleton in San Diego, CA.

He is raising funds for Freedom is Not Free and Soles4Souls, a pair of non-profits located in Nashville, TN, and San Diego. The first organization assists wounded military personnel in need, the latter recycles shoes for people in need around the world.

Roshitsh specifically wants to raise $25,000 to assist Purple Heart veterans or families of the fatally wounded to help with short-term financial needs.

To follow his run go to

Since reporting a couple of months ago that the distance around the earth at the equator is nearly 25,000 miles and that you would have to run 1,000 miles a year for 25 years to run that far, well there are dedicated runners who have done that and more. Following are some of them:

Bill Adams of Charlotte, NC, “started running to lose weight for wresting but it turned into a passion I could not stop.” After 34 years of running, he figures he’s on his “third lap around the world.” He stopped recording his miles “when I realized that recording the runs was not as much fun as just experiencing them.”

Eddie Neely of Abingdon, VA, has logged an estimated 47,000 miles and “actually went 21 years and 10 months without missing a day.” His streak ended Oct. 31, 2009, with the discovery of a heart artery blockage during a comprehensive physical. “A stent was put in and I was back to running in a few weeks – but not every day.” Neely has been running for 32 years and is now 59.

Donna Akers of Narrows, VA, will have been running for 30 years on May 1 and has run more than 47,000 miles, completing over 600 road races. Donna, a member of the Southern West Virginia Road Runners Club, can be seen at many races distributing copies of Running Journal. She will be 62 on May 24.

John Durbin of Paducah, KY, has kept a running log since April 12, 1971, and figures he will reach “my 50,000th documented mile around Christmas of this year,” possibly even by his 55th birthday on Nov. 6. Durbin actually started running in August 1970 on his high school cross country team. A member of the West Kentucky Runners Club, he helps time races, but still finds time to put in his training runs. He has run 25 races of marathon distance or longer and has a 2:53 marathon best (1991).

Debbie Myers of Augusta, GA, reports that her father, David, 70, has “gone around the world at least twice” with more than 66,000 miles of running. Her mother, Ann, has walked over 27,000 miles. Debbie, meanwhile, has run an estimated 30,000 miles. She’s a member of the Augusta Striders.

wright.jpgWill Wright of Mobile, AL, is the 74-year-old promotions director of the Port City Pacers. He had run 48,617 miles when we exchanged emails and hopes to top 50,000 miles by the end of the year. He admits to “knees that are starting to ache a little.” He’s been running for 30 years.

UPDATE: The seemingly indefatigable Diane Lyons, founder and coach of ShamRockers USA (“Helping teens cross the finish line one step at a time”) in Sarasota, FL, is seeking coaches across the country to expand the youth training concept. Well, she’s got five new chapters organized in five states -- Colorado, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Texas and Massachusetts.

Like the batteries that keep going, Diane said of her ShamRockers group, “Thirty-one of us will be running in the Sarasota Half Marathon!”
To learn more about this teen training program, go to or email

Top Photo: Ed Roshitsh
Bottom Photo: Will Wright

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