NYLON – One a day. What comes to mind? Vitamins? Well, for one local it was running one mile a day for an entire year. When the year was over he kept going. Not until day 600 did Kraig Connor put this incredible feat to rest.
“After 365 days, I couldn’t stop,” Kraig said. “It became an obsession.”
Kraig first came up with the idea to run a mile a day while talking to a friend in late 2014. His friend thought it was a great idea and recruited five others including herself to join him. Kraig began his journey on Jan. 1, 2015 with a three-mile run and ended it on Aug. 22, 2016 with a 3.1-mile run. The total distance of his 600 day streak was 3,360.22 miles, which averaged to 5.6 miles a day.
Out of the six that started the epic journey of running a mile a day for an entire year only Kraig and friend Ben Rand made it through.
“I never expected to go a full year,” Rand said. “But before you knew it, it was just Kraig and I. I wasn’t going to give if he wasn’t.”
Rand thought a run streak sounded like an interesting challenge yet what made him want to start was being part of a group and doing it together.
“We made a private Facebook group where we would post our runs each day and we all followed each other on different fitness tracking platforms to keep each other honest,” Kraig said. “Having friends check in on me was a huge motivation factor.”
Rand liked the extra motivation to keep running a mile a day fresh, fun and exciting.
“When you run with a group, you tend to push yourself a little harder than you would running alone,” Rand said.
Kraig, now 27, was a 2007 graduate of Greece Olympia High School and a 2011 graduate of Keuka College. He ran cross country all four years in high school and his first three in college. Kraig first got his love for running from watching his father run when he was just eight-years-old.
“My Dad was training for marathons and I vividly remember asking him if I can go for a run with him,” Kraig said. “We did a half mile loop by the house and it took way too long. But that is the moment and day I fell in love with running.”
Kraig’s father, Kelvin Connor, looks back to the days when he would run races and his family would be waiting patiently at the finish line just to catch a glimpse of his finisher’s medal.
“Running a mile a day for a year sounds crazy to me,” Kelvin said. “If you think about training in general, there are many days that running even 100 yards sounds too far. Kraig would love to push the limits in terms of training so for him to do something like that makes entire sense.”
Kraig would join his father for the Thanksgiving Day Race with Grace 10K in Greece, NY in 1999.
“We ran the race finishing together,” Kelvin said. “Usually he would be home eating turkey by the time I finished.”
Kraig would go on to run that race 12 more times and will do so for the 14th time next month.
Still an avid runner, Kraig recently offered advice to those who want to get out and start running.
“The best advice I can think of for folks that want to start running is don’t get discouraged and look at how much others do, “ Kraig said. “Go to a local running store and talk to the staff and let people point you in the right direction. This will make running much more enjoyable.”
While the streak has come and gone, Kraig continues running with his love for marathons. He will be running his fifth on Dec. 3, 2016 at Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. This will be his fourth state and he hopes to run one in every state during his lifetime.
“I don’t have a list of marathons that I want to run more than anything,” Kraig said. “I do want to run the Hartford Marathon since that was my Dad’s first marathon.”
Like father, like son.
NYLON is the New York Local Online News section of the GeneseeSun.com, dedicated to uniting communities outside of Livingston County.