NORTH PORT — Marti Stetter is an ultra-runner, participating in 100-mile races and other marathons.
But COVID-19 ended most athletic competition for kids through seniors. To keep in shape and to find meaning in a lockdown, Stetter and others run virtual or solo races.
Much of the country just completed some version of the Run Solo Project, races for good causes. They also allow all runners to maintain a high that feeds their compulsion to put one foot in front of the other over great distances.
The second leg of Run Solo started May 4, goes through June 3. The Coronacation ’20 social distance race has a Yoda from “Star Wars” theme, a “may the fourth be with you” overlay.
Stetter and husband Dug own , an event organizing/timing business. Stetter, who is 62 and has thousands of running miles behind her, shared insights with the North Port Sun.
Go it alone
“Run Solo was created to give active people the chance to compete and see what others are doing when they are running solo, because of this pandemic.”
“We have three Run Solo events that benefit different organizations. Run Solo1 benefited the American Legion Post 254 (North Port), and we gave them a check for $1,000, for example.”
Are these people crazy?
“Endurance running is simple: just continuous running over a distance. Mostly, for me, it is as long as I can go in one single day. I ran/walked 62.48 miles in 11 hours and 50 minutes at the Tick Tock 12 ultra (Lakeland) in 2016, for instance. Since then I participated in many ultras, including four- and eight-hour events.
“Physiologically it is largely aerobic in nature and requires a lot of stamina as well as mental strength. The runner’s most important organ, by far, is the brain — the source of our dreams, drive and determination.”
What drives them?
“Investing in community, spending time with people you care about and going out of our way to help other people, if you can. We don’t have a lot but we have been blessed with each other and, if we can help, we try. And hopefully others will try and we can make an incredible community.
“Our racing community and events are our family and every race we help, we help other organizations. Last year we helped raise $150,646.06 for different organizations with the (company) events we time.”
Advice to those on the sidelines?
“See above answers.”