Run, Dave, Run: Satellite Beach man has clocked more miles than you can imagine
Dave Jones hates running. At more than 6 feet tall and 215 pounds, Jones does not have the typical endurance athlete’s body. He is built more like a lumberjack. Yet he has spent the last five years in endurance running, completing 100 marathons, and setting at least one world record.
Five years ago, Jones was 285 pounds and addicted to nicotine — a 25-year habit that started when he was just 11.
“By the time I was in my 20s, I was smoking two packs of cigarettes a day. I didn’t want nicotine to be part of my legacy to my children,” said the father of three. So he quit nicotine in 2017 and started running.
There was no training plan, there was simply survival. When he craved nicotine, he went running until the urge went away. He was known to stop a business presentation so he could run around the parking lot for 15 minutes. After three weeks of running all over his Kentucky town at all hours of the day, he had found a new habit.
“I told my wife, ‘If I’m running this much, I’m going to run a marathon.’ She just laughed.”
Two months later, Jones ran his first marathon — the first of 18 marathons he would run that year, and he just kept going.
Jones spent most of 2017 and 2018 traveling the country and the world. In 2017, he became one of only four people to ever complete the Triple 7 — 7 public marathons on all 7 continents in less than 7 consecutive days. He set a world record by completing the Eternal Endurance challenge — the Triple 7 plus 50 marathons in each of the 50 United States in one year. He also finished a full Ironman Triathlon and the SavageMan Triathlon.
While Jones, now 42, has lost about 50 pounds since starting down the running road and is in the best shape of his life, fitness was never the goal.
“This isn’t a fitness plan, and it’s probably not very healthy for my body,” Jones said with a smile. He has run with broken toes, broken feet, back problems, food poisoning and fevers.
“It’s not my strength,” Jones said. “God is the key to all of this. I know complacency is never far away, but my ‘I can’t’ moments yield to ‘but He (God) can’.”
Last year Jones and his wife of 10 years, Kristin, moved to Satellite Beach where he can train year round and focus on his entrepreneurial ventures, including Eternal Endurance, a line of technical athletic clothing and cooling towels, and a platform for helping others.
Jones wears many hats. He is a husband and father, a motivational speaker and writer, an entrepreneur, inventor, business owner, the subject of a documentary coming out in spring of 2019, and still hates running.
Learn more about Dave Jones at his website