I was out running the other day and for some reason started thinking about how long I’ve been running. Well, what actually happened was that I found some change on the street – 7 cents: two pennies and a nickel. In other words, a big day. So I got to thinking about how much money I’ve found over the years when I run because I am always looking down (my fear of tripping and falling, since I am pretty much lacking all coordination, is high). Long ago I discovered that one of the perks of looking down when you run is that the odds of you finding random spare change is pretty good. How good? Well, on any given week I usually run across two or three pennies. Then there are the big bonanza weeks where I find a dime or even a quarter. A few times I have actually found dollar bills!
Okay, that being said, I’ve been running for 45 years (yes, I’m serious). I started running when I was sophomore in high school and other than time off for injuries have been plugging away lo these many years. So if I average two cents a week (some weeks are better than others and some weeks I find no money/didn’t run) that means I’m earning about $1.04/year. So over 45 years, I have made $46.80 running.
I run about 5 days a week – some weeks are better than others (marathon and half marathon training) and some weeks are worse (injuries or illness). My mileage has varied as well over the years, but again taking everything into account, 15 miles/week is a safe average. That translates into 780 miles a year which over 45 years equals 35,100 miles. Taking my total earnings of $46.80 and dividing it by 35,100, I come up with an average earning rate of 1/1000th of a cent per mile.
I also replace my shoes every 350-400 miles, so I have worn out around 88 pairs of running shoes over those 45 years. At an average cost of $80/pair, that equals $7,040 in shoe costs.
Happily I was never in it for the money.