Raven’s run 8 miles ev­ery day on South Beach for 42 years

The Hamilton Spectator - - HEALTH - JOEY FLECHAS MIAMI — Miami Her­ald

Laura Lee Hut­ten­bach no­ticed on her reg­u­lar South Beach runs that she would al­ways pass by an older man with long wavy hair, a salt-and-pep­per beard, and jet black run­ning shorts.

They’d cor­dially wave at each other on af­ter­noon runs back then in 2011. A fresh ar­rival to Miami Beach, Hut­ten­bach was look­ing for new re­li­able rou­tines and new friends.

She hadn’t re­al­ized she’d run into what might be the most con­sis­tent, re­li­able per­son this busy, tran­sient city has.

He was Robert “Raven” Kraft, the leg­endary run­ner who has run eight miles on the Beach ev­ery sin­gle day, rain or shine, for 42 years.

Bare-chested and al­ways clad in a black head­band and a pair of New Bal­ance sneak­ers, Raven is the sub­ject of Hut­ten­bach’s new book, “Run­ning With Raven.” She ex­plores Raven’s life as a song­writer, run­ner, sto­ry­teller and South Beach icon.

“The most alarm­ing thing is he does what he says,” Hut­ten­bach told the Miami Her­ald. “That’s get­ting rare.”

In­deed, Raven said he has run ev­ery day start­ing Jan. 1, 1975. He hasn’t missed a day since.

Hut­ten­bach has spent the past few years in­ter­view­ing Raven, run­ning with him and meet­ing the cast of nick­named pals who have be­come Raven’s loyal flock of run­ners. Raven be­stows a new moniker on any­one who com­pletes the eight-mile Raven run, and he bases the nick­name on a sort of in­tro in­ter­view he con­ducts on the run.

She’s learned about his love of mu­sic — Raven is a song­writer who’s had some of his work recorded — and about the chal­leng­ing mo­ments he’s faced while keep­ing a 42-year streak alive.

Hut­ten­bach said she was fas­ci­nated with Raven’s world­view, which is shaped by his ap­petite for the news and con­ver­sa­tions with peo­ple who come from all over the world to run with him.

“For the last 42 years, he hasn’t left Miami,” she said. “The world has come to him.”

CARL JUSTE, MIAMI HER­ALD

Robert “Raven” Kraft, mid­dle, hasn’t missed a sin­gle day of run­ning the beach since Jan. 1, 1975.

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