SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Just two years ago, Mike Schratz was 275 pounds. He was overweight and unhappy, so he made a change.
As he got healthier, he was determined to stay that way.
“I just started running," Schratz says. "From mailbox to mailbox or a little bit further than that.”
Along the way, running became his new passion. Two years later, the 57 year old is down 80 pounds and he’s taking it a little further than just down the street.
“We’ve gone from barely being able to make it mailbox to mailbox to running all the time now," he says. "Me and my wife just did a half marathon.”
Mike’s not going 13.1 miles on this Global Running Day, a day set for the first Wednesday of June to celebrate running and runners. But he is honoring the day by hitting the pavement.
He wasn’t the only one. Mike joined dozens of other runners at Howe 2 Run for the weekly group run on Wednesday night. In a time of shutdowns and quarantines, many say running has been an outlet for normalcy.
That’s what they celebrated on this runners’ holiday.
“It offers a regularity to life," says runner Eric Carpenter. "You get out and you run and you feel good about yourself.”
“It’s the meditation. It’s the inner peace," says Schratz. "Just being able to go out and run and get away from all the craziness has been the best thing in the world.”
Mike doesn’t plan on slowing down anytime soon. He says he already has his sights set on Global Running Day 2021.
“Hopefully running a lot further, a lot further, and being able to keep up with some these fast guys,” he laughs.