Some athletes run to stay in shape, but only a few will be running as much as Charles Richardson plans to later this year.
Richardson, a recent Wellington High School graduate, found a passion for running back in the fifth grade and is now gearing up for the run of his life — a trek across the State of Florida that will amount to seven marathons in seven days.
Starting Thursday, Dec. 19, Richardson will set forth from Daytona Beach and finish Christmas Day at Honeymoon Island near Tampa.
“The daily mileage ranges from 22.1 miles to 33 miles on the last day, which I like to call the final miles of absolute depletion,” Richardson said. “It’s where runners give their full effort to finishing the final and most challenging stage of the run. Essentially, it’s a coast-to-coast run.”
The route takes Richardson and his support team through five springs, two beaches, trails, highways and even a water park.
His training regimen includes one endurance run, one speed workout, two easy runs and two cross-training sessions each week. Richardson also swims and notes that stretching is essential. He is not training alone, though, and he encourages runners to sign up and join him for sections of the trek.
“I am looking for people who are highly motivated and will be able to push themselves and other runners,” Richardson said. “I have noticed that ‘I can’t’ is a popular term, so I would like to empower those who are motivated to reach their full potential, because quitting is not acceptable.”
Space is limited to 10 runners at a time, and both fully committed or partial segment runners are welcome. Participants must sign a liability waiver and also be able to complete each segment running faster than a 15 minute per mile average.
Richardson was inspired by Henry David Thoreau’s statement in Walden, “The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation,” and decided to set himself apart from the masses.
“I have discovered that my dreams should be bigger than anyone can imagine. I learned this at the 10X Growth Conference in Miami,” Richardson said. “I decided I wanted to run across Florida and prove to myself that I could do it.”
Richardson saw the five-month window between graduating high school and starting college at the University of Florida as his moment of opportunity.
When asked why this project, Richardson has very clear motives — to bring attention to water conservation, environmental beautification and personal growth.
“The well-being of the environment is an essential part of survival on this planet, and I’ve noticed some people think it is either too late or their individual decisions won’t make a difference, so they do nothing,” Richardson said. “We just have to trace waste to its roots and change the way it is created, so that even if it is thrown on the floor, it will decompose and have a positive or neutral effect on the soil.”
Richardson gives credit to his mother, Maria, who never stops pushing him to become a more responsible person, and his father, Tim, for teaching him to always prepare. He also thanks his brother, Jerry, for inspiring such an event in order to get results.
Those interested in joining or following Richardson’s quest can reach out via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. He is currently developing a web site and Kickstarter campaign to keep the public up to date on his seven-in-seven challenge.