• Tanner Kern

Why Run 260 Miles?

Updated: Jun 22

The biggest question I've received in the past 24 hours is "Why'd you want to run 260 miles in one week?"


Throughout the week during each run and in the hotel at night when I couldn't sleep because of the pain intensity I did ask myself this same question. It's no surprise that this was the main question I got since crossing the finish line a little over 24 hours ago because for many people, 260 miles in a week seems unfathomable. My answer isn't something that's going to blow your mind because it's very simple.


Going into this run, my highest mileage in a single week was 110. To complete this run I had to add another 150 miles to this total to be successful. This created a massive mental and physical test at every single point of the run. I shed tears, my legs gave out, and I doubted myself at numerous points in this 260 mile journey.


I know this doesn't sound very fun so why would I want to put myself through this challenge?


There was a point in my life when I was 340 pounds. There was also a point when I couldn't make it one time around a quarter mile track without walking. There was a time when I was too big to fit on a Universal Ride. Overcoming these obstacles put me in a position where I fell in love with a challenge. It took discipline, intensity, and a whole lot of guts to overcome the adversity I was dealt. This is the same discipline, intensity, and guts that it took to toe the Canadian Border knowing what I was about to put my body through.


I run ultra distances because I crave the tough times. I crave those moments when you think that you have NOTHING left and you end up coming out on the other side where greatness is standing. Throughout these 260 miles, I experienced the lowest of lows and I loved every second because it presented me with the opportunity to defy the odds and defeat my negative thoughts.


When I couldn't walk after mile 23 on day 4 and I still had 17 miles to go to finish the job I thought, "Who would still be out here right now?...Nobody!" Whether this is true or not, the underdog mentality has stuck with me from my days in youth football and I'm never going to get rid of this massive chip that has grown on my shoulder. This chip powered me through 260 miles and it's the reason I decided to go through with this 260 mile run 8 days ago.


My mind has defeated me many times in my life, but eventually I had to put my foot down and say enough is enough. When I was 340 pounds I wasn't happy with myself. I let my mind control my actions in a negative way, but one day I made a change. This change was permanent and I'm not stopping because 260 was a huge goal to accomplish, but it's not the end. It's only the beginning.


What are your thoughts? I'd love to hear! Send me an email or reach out on social media.


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Tanner Kern is a 22 year old coach, runner, and blogger from Connecticut. He is the host of The Tanner Kern Podcast and creator of "It's a Process: A Blog About Life, Running, and Everything in Between."

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© 2023 by Tanner Kern.