Extreme Runner, Author and Motivational Speaker
By Jenny Willden
“You don’t know what you can do until you try,” said runner, author and motivational speaker Dane Rauschenberg. He describes himself as an “average runner who happens to be extremely stubborn,” and spent every weekend of 2006 running a certified marathon for a total of 52 marathons in 52 weekends.
Dane traveled the country, in between working a full-time job, to reach a real marathon every weekend while raising money for L’Arche Mobile (www.larchemobile.com). He called this quest Fiddy2 and the goal was to run 52 marathons and donate $52,000. Currently the donation total is $44,000, and though his marathon year is over, donations can still be made at www.fiddy2.org. You can also read race recaps from his marathons on this site.
Born in Titusville, Pennsylvania, Dane currently lives in Salt Lake City and is a Penn State and Dickinson School of Law graduate. He hasn’t been a runner his whole life and only began running in law school to lose weight. Dane struggled with his first few marathons when he ran them far apart, but his running improved when he ran two close together. He decided to run 52 marathons in a year after learning that he runs well with little recovery time.
He scheduled his own races for the year and spent all his own money on travel. After doing this, Dane believes, “The running was impressive, but it was the logistics that made this endeavor really impressive.” Managing to never have flight delays, weather problems or injuries that kept him out of races during the year was a great feat that allowed him to accomplish his goal.
However, on the second to last weekend of the year there was no marathon scheduled in the United States. So Dane created his own marathon in his hometown, the Drake Well Marathon, which was a certified course of 105 laps on his old Titusville High School track. The Drake Well Marathon (drakewellmarathon.com) will be held again this year, off-track, with all entry fees going to L’Arche Mobile. Today, Dane is a motivational speaker and though his stuff lives in Salt Lake, he’s constantly traveling. You can hear Dane speak at the Salt Lake and Ogden Marathons where he’ll be giving last minute tips and his take on the courses.
But for Dane, his running doesn’t end with marathons, “When I first started running marathons I thought they would be the farthest I’d go,” Dane said, but he’s now running longer distances and is planning to run from his hometown of Titusville, Pennslvania to Titusville, Florida in the fall. It’s about 40 miles a day of running, and he’d like to unite the Titusvilles by having people from both cities work with him. He also plans to run across the country from Los Angeles to Manhattan sometime in the next year.
You may not be running across the country, but if you’re training for a race, Dane recommends running at Liberty or Sugarhouse Parks because they offer measured loops. He says, “Be proud of what you run and don’t think the marathon is the only race, 5 and 10Ks are great too.” Dane also says to avoid taking on too much too soon, like he did in his first marathon when his longest run before the race was 16 miles. He also believes hydration is key and uses Prolytes (6degreenutrition.com), an electrolyte add-in, to stay hydrated while running.
Dane also suggests asking for advice and tips from those with more experience. Talk to someone who’s done what you want to do and let them inspire you. Or get inspired by Dane’s experiences in his new book, See Dane Run: One Man, 52 Weekends, 52 Marathons, which is a great read for runners and non-runners alike because it provides motivation to get out and accomplish things you never thought possible. The book’s now available in stores and online at Dane’s blog, danerunsalot.blogspot.com.