Going the distance
for front-line heroes

In February of 2020, the running community learned about the Calendar Club, a monumental endurance challenge. Every day, a person would run the number of miles corresponding to whatever day it was—one mile on February 1, two miles on February 2, all the way up to 29 miles.

Sometime in March, two well-known runners teamed up for the challenge, and invited their social media followers to participate. But this time, the challenge would be in support of nurses, doctors and first responders on the front lines who were fighting COVID-19. One of the runners who accepted the Calendar Club challenge for the month of April was Kenneth Fobian, Stryker sales representative. Recently, we asked Ken what compelled him to take the 30-day, 465-mile journey.

When did you start running?
I started about a year and a half ago. I got interested in ultramarathons and tried the Keys100 race in May of 2019—a 100-mile race from Key Largo to Key West. Ultimately, I failed after 72 miles. I was planning on doing the race again this year, but it was canceled because of COVID-19.

What made you decide to take on this challenge?
I heard about it on social media from an endurance athlete I follow. After finding out that the Keys100 was canceled and seeing the great cause of the Calendar Club, I figured it was the perfect opportunity.

Has COVID-19 impacted you personally?
Unfortunately, I had a relative pass away from COVID-19 in the middle of April. It definitely added purpose to the challenge. Overall, I felt that it was a way that I would be able to do my part in helping out, and hopefully inspire others along the way.

Was this a difficult challenge for you?
The time commitment was the most challenging piece. It definitely makes you dial in on your time management skills combining the challenge with work. Daily ice baths were also a huge component in helping my body recover. (The blisters weren’t too fun either).

Where did you run?
I’m lucky enough to be living in Miami Beach, so the runs were all beautiful. I mainly ran along the boardwalk and alongside the beach.

Do you know anyone else who participated?
I invited multiple customers to participate in their own modified versions, teaming up with their families and friends to cover the mileage together.

By the end of the challenge, Kenneth had taken over one million steps in support of heroes on the front lines. That’s the equivalent of nearly 18 marathons in a single month!

Ken’s passion and dedication is another example of people helping people during these challenging times. You can read more stories here.