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Going the Distance While Social-Distancing

By Madison Absher |

Going the Distance While Social-Distancing

Going the Distance, while Social-Distancing. 

It was a drizzling, chilly Wednesday night. 2:11am to be exact. Most people were fast asleep in the comfort of their own homes, especially with Stay-at-Home orders issued for most states in the US during the 2020 COVID-19 outbreak. 


But Forrester Safford is not “most people.”

Instead of getting a normal night’s sleep, he had gone outside for a run. But not just for a leisurely jog in his neighborhood. He had planned to run 26.2 miles…..in his driveway


A Marine veteran, a member of 6th Marine Regiment, deploying twice to Iraq and once to Afghanistan, Forrester is no stranger to challenges, discipline and hard work. 

We asked him a few questions about his Driveway-athon:


Why did you feel inclined to run a marathon in your driveway?
A running friend of mine had recently shared an article on Facebook about a guy in France who ran a marathon on the rooftop of his apartment building during his self-quarantine. With Virgina under a stay at home order (while we can go out for essential things, including exercise), I know a lot of people are stressed right now. Me doing this was one way I hoped to show others - and myself - that you can do a lot at home, even run a marathon.


What kept you going for the entirety of this marathon? Music, podcasts, motivation, etc?
Normally, when I run I do not listen to any music - that includes a solo 50K and marathon that I ran (over the course of one week) last year in Japan when I was there for work. That said, for this, I felt I really needed something other than just Redbull and energy jelly beans to keep me going, due to such a short course. So I put a classic rock channel onto Pandora, and ran while rocking out to the likes of Queen, Guns N' Roses, Creedence Clearwater Revival and Gordon Lightfoot  - just to name a few.


Have you ran a marathon before?
Yes, this was my 5th marathon (including one 50K). I ran a 50K and a marathon solo in Japan when I was there for work, just to see if I could do it. That was my 1st 100mile + week. Two weeks ago, I ran a marathon with club members in our town - the Shamrock Marathon/Half Marathon (which was to take place in VA Beach), was cancelled due to the Coronavirus. Because many members of the club had signed up for it, (including one member who had never been in a race before and another who had never run a marathon before), we decided to do a virtual marathon. I ran that one with them, even though I had not signed up for the Shamrock event. And the 5th was my driveway marathon! I am signed up for this year's MCM - hopefully it goes on, but if not, I will just defer it to next year.


Did you train for this?
Not at all. I winged this one...I had the idea to do a marathon in the driveway for a day or so, and decided to try it out the night before I did it.

Do you have any favorite running podcasts or books?
I don't really listen to, or read much, on running. Podcasts in general for me are fairly foreign, aside from occasionally listening to Joe Rogan. For reading, (which I do a lot of) I stick to medieval historical fiction for the most part.


What is your favorite Feetures sock to run in?

As someone who likes to be in bare feet with no shoes as much as possible, the Feetures Elite Ultra Light No Show Tab socks are my sock of choice because when I have them on, I have the added protection a sock provides, at the same time feeling like it's just my bare foot in the shoe. The Feetures Elite Ultra Light socks are just that - ultra light and they breathe. I don't get blisters wearing Feetures, and have had no other issues with my feet at all since starting to wear them. 


His Mom, Dad, wife Lisajean and inlaws have all been extremely supportive of him throughout this running journey.


He says that runners don't need much to run. But what we do need is very important - shoes, and socks. 


It’s in times like these where we get to find unique ways to challenge ourselves, and Forrester Safford is a great example of finding just that.


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