Stefan Fekner has run 256,695 kilometers (about 160,000 miles) on Feb. 1, 2020

Stefan Fekner
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
DOB: June 6, 1952
As a runner and ultrarunner, I am a late bloomer. Growing up,
Toronto 100K, 1986
no one in my community ran
more than a few miles or on a track. I was introduced to ‘jogging’ by my first planning director in 1980. I was 30 years old and immediately took to running increasing distances, with my lanky frame (long legs, short torso).

A serendipitous meeting, during a long Sunday run, with David LaPierre and Roy Sadgrove, two local ultrarunners resulted in my first ultra, two weeks later in the Vermilion 50 mile run (1984). The rest is history.

I found my niche in the 100 km as track was too much work and the marathon distance was not going to get me into the Olympics. I was a ‘lazy’ 10 km runner and preferred the 100 mile plus weekly training runs on the roads and shared use paths. I have tried some trail and cross country running but I prefer to just “get in a grove” and fly timelessly down the road. This is the essence of running, letting the body do the work while the mind wonders to other interests.

My marathon times were respectable, five under 2 hours, 30 minutes, but it was my 100 km times that earned me invitations and trips to nine IAU (International Association of Ultrarunners) World 100 km Championships; with 11 sub 7 hour performances; 3 Canadian National Championships; and a third place finish in the 1990 World Championships (only Canadian to date to place in these Championships). In 1988, I was Ultrarunning Magazine’s North American Male Ultrarunner of the Year. I have been fortunate in venturing into a seminal sport and being a Canadian ultrarunning pioneer.

Records are intended to be eclipsed. My inspiration comes “being in the arena” (President Theodore Roosevelt), with some of the finest ultrarunners (and human beings); experiencing moments of history (first Canadian 100 km team; first World 100 km Championships); and developing long friendships and warm memories of these races. I still run and compete in races for the ambiance and the fellowship. Running and (now) cycling athletes share a vital sense of ‘community’ throughout the world. My goal has always been to continue to enjoy the pursuit of physical movement and to learn new lessons as I age.

I will end with a quote from Dan Brannen (Running Times): “The longer we run, the more dimensions we add to an activity as maddingly complex as it is simple.” I just like to go out and run.