My Friend Chuck — 84,000 miles and still runnin’

chuck-petersen-and-money-he-has-found-001.jpgchuck-petersen-and-money-he-has-found-001.jpgchuck-petersen-and-money-he-has-found-001.jpgchuck-petersen-and-money-he-has-found-001.jpgBelow is my dubious running achievement of the New Year.  Dropping out of a dinky little 5K.  

Compare this to the 2007 achievements of a fellow runner named Chuck Petersen. 

Chuck is retired, 67, and he has been a distance runner since he ran his first marathon in 1979.  After 10 years of marathon running, he decided that 26.2 miles was too short, so he decided to test his legs on longer distances and became an ultra-marathon man, competing in rugged races of 50 and even 100 miles. His long training runs last five hours! He has twice broken 24 hours in the 100-milers.   OMG!  Can you imagine running for 24 hours straight? 

He keeps meticulous logs and reports that at the close of 2007, he had covered 84,094 miles since 1980. I went online and Googled the circumference of the world, and according to NASA, the world is 24,901.55 miles around at the equator.  This means that Chuck has run the equivalent of three-and-a-quarter times around the world.

  240px-the_earth_seen_from_apollo_17.jpg

This year alone, he covered a grand total of 2,189 miles. 

As a little twist, Chuck likes to hunt for money when he runs.  

His money runs take him through parking lots, past bank teller windows and through the fast food lanes.  He goes early in the mornings and he carries a sock to store the battered and beat-up pennies, nickels, dimes and occasionally greenbacks. 

He keeps his treasure in a cigar box where it adds up over the course of the year, and every December he makes an annual pilgrimage to the Duke Comprehensive Cancer Center where he donates every penny.  This is his 20th anniversary of finding and giving. This year he found and donated $165.61 (yes, he has a meticulous 20-year-oldspreadsheet), bringing his grand total to $6,124.86. 

 This article was in the N&O about a year ago:

 http://www.newsobserver.com/974/story/528911.html

As a side bar…a few months ago I was out running and found a little folder with a bunch of cash in it.  Well, a modest amount but large for a find:  $39.  It was obviously dropped by a waitress and unfortunately there was nothing in it to identify her.  I felt so bad. I’m sure she needed it.  

Even though I could have used it too, I felt guilty about keeping it. 

Then I remembered Chuck!   What better way to honor his achievements than to pass along this found money to turn over to the Duke Cancer Center! 

At first Chuck encouraged me to donate it myself, but eventually I convinced him to take it.  It is not included in his grand total however, and I hope that my little contribution did some good.

chuck-petersen-and-money-he-has-found-001.jpg

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