Jacob Mattson started running seriously in March with the goal of completing a 50 km race within a year.
“I thought that would be almost impossible,” he said. “It seemed very, very daunting, but I kept running almost every single day.
“I’d take one day off, but I’d never take two days off running.”
That focus and commitment paid off on Saturday (Nov. 28), when the 25-year-old jogger ran 100 km over the course of slightly less than 12 hours on Maple Ridge Secondary’s track.
To give himself extra motivation beforehand, he decided to do a fundraiser through Movember.
His grandfather suffered from prostate cancer, Mattson had his own testicular cancer scare, and some friends of his “passed away because they succumbed to the challenges of mental health.”
“My goal was to raise $500 to promote awareness of those causes,” he said. “I thought it would be amazing to run one kilometre for every $10 donated.
“I thought I’d have to do a 50 km run, but I quickly realized people were way more generous, so I figured I was going to have to do a 100 km run.”
Mattson spent the months beforehand training intensely. He averaged 50 to 60 km/week of running for over two months, and for the last few weeks had upped his road work to 75 to 80 km/week.
On Saturday morning he started running at 5 a.m. and finished the 100 km in slightly less than 12 hours.
His time spent moving was slightly more than 10 hours. Mattson burned almost 8,000 calories, and lost six pounds.
In addition to some very sore muscles, he said his left foot is quite bruised and swollen from turning in the same direction for the entire run.
Mattson raised just more than $1,200 beforehand, and doubled it over the course of the grueling challenge.
“Random strangers were coming up to me while I was running and giving me cash once they saw what I was doing,” Mattson said.
In addition to the passers-by, Mattson said he received some amazing support from friends and family.
His buddy, Brian Ursic, ran 50 km with him, and he was cheered on by his brothers and parents, the Ridge Meadows Running Group, and even members of a community he interacts with on the running app Strava.
“Some people I’d never even met showed up from nearby cities to support me,” he said.
While the clapping and ‘atta-boys’ were a great boost, Mattson required a lot of actual fuel to get him through the race.
He wolfed down runners gel, Cliff Bars, salt and vinegar chips, Smarties, Oreos, bananas, oranges, nuts, a burger from Wendy’s, and an ice cream sundae from McDonald’s.
After the run was completed Mattson cried tears of joy and made his way home to spend some time lying on his parent’s couch.
He said it was no surprise that his legs hurt but he was a little intrigued to discover how sore his shoulders, traps, and neck were.
“I think it was from being tensed up and moving my arms for almost 12 hours,” he said.
To counter the suffering, he ate another burger with some fries, rolled out his sore muscles with a foam roller, took a hot bath, and went for a short walk to get some blood flow back into his legs.
While still recovering, he is already thinking of the next test he plans to set for himself.
A five-kilometre run in under 20 minutes is a short-term goal of his, and once COVID comes to an end, he hopes to compete in an actual marathon, or ultra-marathon event.
“I always have goals and challenges in mind,” he said. “I know now that if you just take little steps forward, you can reach any of those goals you thought were impossible.”