As the Production Manager at Talmadge, John Anderson spends much of his time on job sites around Santa Cruz, making calls in and out of the office, and generally keeping the wheels turning on every project that’s in construction. However, before sitting down at his desk in the morning, John has already put in some work. At around 6 am every day, John laces up his shoes and gets in at least 20 minutes of running. He has been running consistently since high school, where he started competing on the Cross Country team. Then in college, John stopped taking days off from running, a ritual he’s kept up for over 37 years.
What compels you to run every day?
This all started as a bet between a few guys on the cross country running team in college. We wanted to see if we could go a whole year without missing a day. Once we got to a year, I decided to see how long I could do it, and I’m still going 37 and a half years later. I’ve taken it to the extreme I guess.
What kinds of major life events have tested your commitment to running every day?
I’ve run through a couple of minor surgeries and a few sprained ankles. My rotator cuff surgery in particular was the most severe. I travel a lot nowadays too, which can add an extra challenge for traveling days. The first thing I do every day is to get a run done. If I have to leave for a flight at 5 am, then I get up and do my run at 4 am. I do it first thing in the morning to just get it done.
What are the benefits you get from running?
It’s definitely a nice constant of the day. It’s an opportunity for me to be by myself. I can relax a little bit and think about the day ahead with no distractions. No matter what else happens with the day, if something goes sideways, you have that accomplishment done in the early part of the day.
How much do you run on a weekly and daily basis?
When I started in college, it was 70-100 miles per week. Now it’s 20 minutes a day. In college, I was part of the cross country team at South Hampton College in Long Island, and in the off season we spent our time doing road races. After college, I continued with road races for many years, but now I mostly just run from home.
Do you have any major highlights or accomplishments from your running that stand out as particularly noteworthy?
In college, I was just part of the pack, finishing most races in the thick of things but not up at the front. I can say that I was consistent. Our races were either 5 miles or 10 kilometers. In college my 5 mile time was somewhere around 27:30, or about 5:30 per mile.
Where in Santa Cruz do you most enjoy running and why?
Since I do it at 6 am most days, I mostly run around my house in the Soquel area. When I used to run a little farther, I would enjoy going to Nisene Marks right around the corner from the Talmadge office. Of course for road races, it was fun to explore new places all throughout the area.
Does your running correlate to your work in any way?
I think it allows me to come in and start the day a little more relaxed. Everyone at Talmadge has some activity they do, and we value having that kind of outlet as a team. It’s really important to take time for yourself and it’s great to work at a place that values how important an activity like this can be for your mental health.