Walking and biking to work is becoming more common, but running to work is another story. Two employees at Fast Break Athletics, Kiersten Boyd and Lucas Stocks, challenged each other to do just that.
It all started when another Fast Break employee, Joey Howe, took a lap down memory lane. He recalled a time when his car had broken down and he decided to run his errands … literally.
“He didn’t have a car, so he was running to work, to the grocery store,” Kiersten said. “Joey told me he did it for about six months,” and he did it without the benefits of modern gear. “He actually made himself a running pack.”
Kiersten and Lucas took inspiration from Joey’s story and started a friendly wager to see who could run to work more consistently. “We came up with a 30-day challenge,” she said. The rules were simple. “Our spouses were allowed to drop things off at the store for us,” but apart from that, “we couldn’t accept a ride, couldn’t go on bicycle, couldn’t do anything but go on foot (to work) for 30 days”.
Kiersten got the short end of the stick by being stuck with a longer commute. “Mine was almost exactly four miles. Lucas' was just shy of four miles. He’s a faster runner than me too, so he would cover the distance in a shorter amount of time. His route was shorter, and I’m pretty sure mine was hillier—so I gave him a lot of grief about having the shorter, easier route.”
Unfortunately, “Lucas wasn’t able to complete the 30 days consecutively because he pulled a hamstring,” she said. Fortunately for Lucas, they did not have any wagers riding on their running apart from “trying to see how long we could do it and just to say that we did it”.
Even though she was adding a challenge to her commute, Kiersten said, “It made my day a little bit easier because I combined my commute with my workout. I didn’t have to choose my route; it took some of the planning out of my running. And I’m sure I’m stronger for it because the route I took was so hilly. I definitely feel stronger at climbing hills now.”
There were benefits outside of exercise as well. “Half-way I get to the very top of the ridge, so at the peak I can see all the way to (Chickamauga) Dam. It’s kind of a unique half-way spot because I can see all the way to the dam and all the way downtown.”
And she cited the social benefits as well. “You get more interaction with people when you’re not in a car, going at a slower pace. Your commute can be so much more enjoyable when you don’t have to deal with the stress of driving.”