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Red Deer runner achieves goal of 100 half marathons in 100 months

Runner prepares to make Woody's RV World Marathon his 101st half marathon
Gordon Huff, 74, of Red Deer, completed his 100th half marathon in 100 consecutive months at the Jasper Canadian Rockies Half Marathon on April 27, 2024. (Photo contributed by Joanne Packham)

For eight years and four months Gordon Huff has run a half marathon every month — that's 100 runs in 100 consecutive months. 

The 74-year-old Red Deer runner achieved his jaw-dropping streak in April at the Jasper Canadian Rockies Half Marathon, but will add a few more half-marathons starting with Woody's RV World Marathon on Sunday, the Millarville Half Marathon in June and the Stampede Road Race in Calgary in July.

"I'll make it to 103 for sure," said Huff whose streak includes about 75 registered races, while the others were completed as solo runs or with friends. 

He expects his monthly 21-km race/runs to come to an end after July. 

"Probably the streak won't continue, but the running will. I'll continue to run as long as I can. I really enjoy it. It's such a good mood booster."

It all began for the former dentist when he retired and discovered there were races almost every single month in Alberta from February to November.  

Already an avid runner, Huff was first going to try and run a half-marathon each month for a year. But as the years and the runs added up, he realized he could hit his 72nd half-marathon the year he turned 72. 

"When I hit that, it just seemed natural you should try for a hundred."

When he travelled south for the winter, Huff would find half-marathon events mostly in the United States, and once he ran while on a cycling tour of Vietnam.

"I got to go out and run in Saigon. That would be the most exotic run."

He started out the monthly half-marathon campaign with a few friends, but injuries eventually sidelined them. Huff, who pulled his achilles tendon and fell off a mountain bike, always healed enough to resume training.

"I never did have a major injury. I think that's why I've been able to do this."

He said weight training, cross training and not pushing himself all the time also helped, as did not stressing about his goal.

"What really worked for me was I never got caught up in doing 100 of these in 100 months. The bottom line is always about being able to do them."

Each year Huff would only choose one or two races to focus on a faster finishing time. Woody's is one of those races and he will try to complete the half-marathon in under two hours and 10 minutes. 

Huff has been running about three times each week to train for his monthly half marathons, and admits that some days he'd rather not.

"That lasts for about the first 10 minutes than you're right into it. I don't think I've ever, ever gone out for a run and come back and said, 'Geez, I wish I wouldn't have done that.' Usually it's the other way around. You're so glad you got going."

He called the half marathon the perfect distance. It's an endurance event that tests runners and forces them to dig deep mentally and physically without all the training needed for a full marathon which also requires more recovery time. 

"A half gives you a great payback."

Huff, who started out jogging about 50 years ago, said running has added to his quality of life. It's something he does just for himself, and has become part of his life. 

He said it was great to accomplish 100 half-marathons, but it's the journey that's satisfying.

"You're actually celebrating everything you did to get here. A race is a celebration of the training."


Susan Zielinski

About the Author: Susan Zielinski

Susan has been with the Red Deer Advocate since 2001. Her reporting has focused on education, social and health issues.
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