Running 100 Marathons – Ken Davison

Running his first marathon in tennis shoes in 1980, Ken Davison has come a long way (literally). Ken ran his 100th marathon in the Edmonton Marathon on August 19th. That means since 1980, he has amassed over 4215 kilometres, and that doesn’t include the training distance.

It is no wonder why he earned our first Athlete of the Month. At 73 years old, he’s unstoppable. And perhaps, he could inspire those that stop at their goals with a quick “I can’t,” as he continues to break down what you think you can and can’t do.

Surprisingly, running wasn’t Ken’s first sport of choice. After joining a soccer team and seeing the Edmonton Roadrunners go by, he ended up with an invite to join the ever-growing runner community. In Ken’s own words, “the rest is history.”

He went on to run marathons including ones in New York (involving views of the Twin Towers along the course in 1989), London, Belfast, Vancouver, Calgary, and Las Vegas. So, how does he do it? Ken attributes his success to his support system, his family, and other fellow runners.

He also credits his pre-race diet routine. On the night before a race, Ken indulges in potatoes and steak. In a long-standing tradition, the morning of the race he has his regular French Canadian pea soup and a bagel. And it’s clearly been working for him!

Ken has also had his fair share of injuries and pain. In the early years of his running career, he struggled with a herniated disc. Yet, like most things, it didn’t hold him back. Once treatment and surgery were performed, he jumped right back into it.

Many may also relate to his most recent brush with injury as he manages sciatic nerve pain. He ran 2 marathons with the pain, determined to cross that finish line. Running through the grind of massage therapy, physiotherapy, chiropractic care, and loads of exercises, Ken says he’s now feeling better than ever.

In 10 years, Ken hopes to be still running marathons, cutting back from 5 to 1-2 a year. He’s found his balance with massage, keeping stress levels at bay, and really learning to enjoy the journey toward his set goal. He has also more recently started exploring the benefits of cross-training, adding other activities, such as weight-lifting, into his regular routine.

His advice for runners just starting out? “Join a group – that’s important. It will keep you motivated. Don’t overtrain, as you might get discouraged if you start feeling fatigued.”

He adds, “Keep your eye on the goal. After it’s all over, believe it or not, you will be looking forward to your next race.”

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