This Marthasville man ran 2,700 miles last year, and he's not stopping

Chuck Eichmeyer
Chuck Eichmeyer began running in 2005 in an effort to photograph his daughter during her cross-country meets. Today he is logging an average of 50 miles per week. In 2019 he wanted to run 2,019 miles. Instead, he logged 2,715 miles.
By: 
Cindy Gladden
Staff Writer

You might wonder why a 68-year-old man ran more than 2,700 miles in 2019. Or why he has run in 47 half-marathons, in 14 different states, and in a total of more than 110 different events. Chuck Eichmeyer never planned it. He grew to love it.

Eichmeyer, a native of Marthasville, has worked for Boonslick Regional Planning Commission in Warrenton for 30 years. One of his favorite hobbies was filming highlights of his kids’ sporting events. His son Charlie had a love for football. Carissa was a cross-country fan.

It wasn’t hard to get some great clips of Charlie as he played for Washington High School. Standing on the sidelines didn’t take too much effort. Eichmeyer had a bit of a challenge with Carissa’s long distance running though. His daughter challenged him to make a great film of her like he had done for her brother.

At first it wasn’t too hard to rush from one end of the course to the other to catch her during the race. As Carissa got older and faster, Eichmeyer faced a dilemma.

“I’m going to have to get in better shape to get the shots I need,” said Eichmeyer. For training he started on the county road, breathing hard. He kept adding a little bit more.

He would run the quarter mile from his driveway to the bench on the Katy Trail and take a break. He would run toward Boone Monument Road, take a break, and continue building up his stamina.

“I enjoyed it at that point,” he said. “I never thought it could be enjoyable.”

The first time he logged his running was on Memorial Day 2005 when he ran 16 laps around the track at the Washington High School. He’s logged every mile since. That year he ran more than 500 miles; in 2006, 800; increasing to 1,576 in 2013 and 2,715 in 2019.

One of his challenges was the Run the Edge, where you virtually run across the United States. It took Eichmeyer a year and five months to complete 3,500 miles from the virtual Golden Gate Bridge to the Washington Monument by logging the miles locally.

He runs in Washington Monday, Wednesday and Saturday with the McFun Runners, a group that always ends their Saturday run at a table at McDonald’s. The members span in age from 50 to 80 years old. Eichmeyer joined the group in 2011.

One of his favorite running locations is the Katy Trail near his home. On Tuesdays and Thursdays at 4:30 a.m. he puts on his running gear and experiences wildlife which is plentiful and where the impact on his body is easier.

“Sometimes wildlife spooks me a little bit,” he said. “Once a deer ran with me about a quarter of a mile on the shoulder of the Katy. I often see skunks and squirrels. Sometimes I carry a ‘spider stick’ to swipe all the cobwebs away.”

In order to run his goal of 2,019 miles in 2019, he had to average 40 miles per week. After breaking many weekly goals, Eichmeyer now averages 50 miles per week.

“The coldest I’ve experienced is five below zero,” he said. “Motivation gets you started, habit keeps you going.”

Eichmeyer said you just “deal with” all of the weather and bug challenges. Knowing how to dress in the proper layers is important. Kentucky was his most challenging run, with a 1,000-foot elevation climb. Las Vegas was the most interesting, joining over 50,000 runners down the Vegas strip.

“I hope to think it has been really a plus for my health,” he said. “The only medication I take is a multi-vitamin. It’s as good as I’ve ever felt.”

Eichmeyer said running is a great stress reliever. He doesn’t plug into the ear buds, just “enjoys the surroundings or the stillness.”

His wife, Danielle, is his “event coordinator.” She made sure to plan a race in Hawaii and is looking at possibilities in Alaska.

“I always wonder what kind of shape I would have been in if I hadn’t done this. The feeling you get from exercising is fantastic,” said Eichmeyer. “Keep putting one foot in front of the other.”

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