50 marathons, 50 states, 52 weeks. Say that 5 times fast. Or better yet, try to do it. It's not every day you wake up to run a marathon, let alone more than 5 miles. But for Bryce Matteson, founder of Run50/50, running weekly marathons has become his reality this past year. 'Why' is the question he gets asked most frequently and the answer is simple: 1.8 billion people still don't have clean drinking water and that needs to change. So, in partnership with Healing Waters, Bryce set out to bring awareness to the global water crisis, running each mile in an effort to raise money. We sat down with Bryce to get the scoop on Healing Waters, why he runs, and how we can join the cause.
What is Run5050 and where did the idea originate?
Run5050 is an effort to bring access to clean water to people who do not have access to it. Through running 50 marathons in a year I hope to inspire others to challenge themselves to get involved in helping to end the global water crisis. For me running is a tangible way to do that. I have been a runner my whole life and have always wanted to find a way to incorporate it with a cause.
How did you get connected with Healing Waters?
My wife and I had to opportunity to travel and do volunteer photo/video worth with Healing Waters a few years ago, and after seeing the model in action we both wanted to be more involved in ending the global water crisis.
After having that opportunity to travel and visit Healing Waters’ project sites in Latin America, I had the overwhelming sense that I needed to do more. Running has always been a part of my life and it is a passion and gift that I was given and I wanted to challenge myself and inspire others to be a part of something larger than yourself. Water is a basic human need and I am going to devote the next year of my life to making sure that more people are given access to clean water because they are worth it. The change that clean water is bringing to these people, these communities and the world is invaluable.
Running 50 marathons in 50 states...that’s no small feat! How frequent are the marathons?
I average about one marathon a week, mostly weekends, with a few weekends off and some mid-week marathons. There are a few occasions where I will only have one day in between.
Bryce pictured here wearing the Sentry Tank
What type of breaks do you get between marathons?
Typically I have about 6-7 days off in between runs. But there are some instances where I have 3 marathons within 7 days. If I have a week where I am doing multiple, I try to give myself at least a 10-day break either before or after to get extra rest.
What do you do to help your body rest and recoup after each race?
I have a pretty simple recovery plan. I have an amino acid recovery drink, then it just comes down to drinking plenty of water and getting good sleep. Foam rolling and stretching is also something I do every day.
Any recovery recommendations to avid runners?
Nothing is more important than hydrating after a long tough workout. It's good to be in the habit of always having a water bottle with you and drink anytime you think of it, as it is really hard to over-hydrate. Also use a foam roller daily, especially on your IT bands, as that is a common area that people tend to neglect.
How many pairs of running shoes have you been through so far?
After 43 marathons, I broke out my 5th & final pair of the year!
Can people join you on your journey and run with you?
Yes! Whether you want to run a full marathon, half marathon, 10K or 5K, I would love to have more people join in! I have had several friends run with me so far and it has been really encouraging to see others get involved and be able to use their race to raise money through their networks as well.
If people aren’t runners, can they still give back to Healing Waters? How?
Of course! I know that not everybody is a runner. But, everybody does have something and a way that they can uniquely give back and be a part of ending the global water crisis. Or if anyone feels inclined to help with the logistical side of things, covering my race entry fee or flights and other travel related expense is a huge help as much of this campaign is self-funded. It really takes a team effort!
What number marathon are you on?
I have completed 44 marathons so far and will be running two more this weekend, #45 through Delaware & Maryland on Friday, November 16th and #46 at the Philadelphia Marathon on Sunday, November 18th! Come cheer me on if you're in the area!
Bryce's Race Schedule
To see more of Bryce's journey, follow him on Instagram: @Run.5050
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