Edward Cheserek's 12 Hour Run
Daily Relay | On 17, Dec 2014
Edward Cheserek has several NCAA crowns to his name and was named a finalist for the 2014 Bowerman Trophy. The Oregon sophomore shared a remarkable story at the awards ceremony at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort in Phoenix, Arizona on Wednesday night. (Video of Cheserek sharing his story on-stage with host Ryan Fenton)
“It was like on a spring break, we came from school and went home for about a week. I asked my dad if I could get a ride back to school, since I had to take exams on Monday. That was on Saturday. My dad was like “I can’t because you can’t go through the roads.” The roads were messed up because it was raining too much…It just didn’t work.
I was like “What can I do now?” I thought of talking to the teachers. (My dad) called the teachers and they said, “Sorry, we can’t keep this for one day later or three days later, so you have to be in school. Everybody has to come to school that day.”
I thought, “Oh man. I guess I have to pick another way to get there.” I didn’t even tell my dad, but I told my mom, “I think I’m going to go to school tomorrow.” She was like, “What?” I didn’t want to miss my exams. I had to go take my exams, so I could come to the U.S.
I went to bed thinking about it. I had my wallet ready. I put my shoes and running stuff ready, so I could leave without telling anyone.
I get my running shoes – I get up at five in the morning – and just start running.
I had my phone, my wallet and my running stuff. I didn’t bring my bag and books home, I just left those at school. I start running and I run for like two hours…I get tired.
I was hungry and I hadn’t eaten anything in the morning, so I got had to stop somewhere. I had my money and I had to eat breakfast. I walked a little bit for about two minutes and started running.
I start running for another three hours. I get tired again. I was hungry, so I stopped and grabbed some lunch before going again. I had lunch and I was full, so I thought, “I don’t think I’m going to make it.’ I decided to run for another hour. I was tired. I said ‘I can’t do this anymore.’ I walked 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes, I felt okay. My food was digested a little bit and my stomach was lighter, so I started running.
I run for another two hours. I get to school around 6:30 p.m. All my schoolmates were eating dinner. I went in there so dirty and smelly. I was like ‘Oh my God.’
One of my roommates asked “Can I get you something.” I said “Yeah, get me something. I have to go eat, then shower and then come back for study hall.” I ate and then went into the library for about an hour.
It gets to 9:30, I couldn’t focus anymore. I just went straight to bed.
The next morning, I get up at six. My teammates were up and asked “Can you for for the run this morning?”
I said to them, “Dude, I ran yesterday for 12 hours, so I’ve got to take a break.”
I went to breakfast and then go back to my dorm to shower. I went to study hall for an hour again. My exams were exactly at 8 a.m. Went to class and passed all my exams. I got all A’s in three exams.
After that my parents called me and asked where I was. I told them “I’m in school.” They said, “Are you in school already?”…They called my principal and asked “Is this guy in school or is he lying?” My principal said, “Yeah, I came into school and saw him this morning. I don’t know how he got here.”
They called me into the office and asked how I got there. I told them I found my own way to get to school and take my finals.
It took me about four days to recover.”
(The story was transcribed by Chris Chavez from Cheserek’s interview with Ryan Fenton on Wednesday night. Some changes were made for grammatical clarity.)
Edward Cheserek is a two-time NCAA Cross-Country national champion. Cheserek has also won titles on the track during indoor (3,000-meter & 5,000-meter) and outdoor season (10,000-meter). You can follow him on Twitter – @KingCheserek
Chris Chavez has not won any NCAA titles, but has written for ESPN Endurance, Flotrack, and more, all while studying at Marquette. Follow him on Twitter @Chris_J_Chavez