RUN, RAVEN, RUN

AFTER LOG­GING MORE THAN 125,000 MILES ON MI­AMI BEACH OVER THE COURSE OF 15,092 DAYS, LEG­ENDARY BEACH RUN­NER RAVEN IS IM­MOR­TAL­IZED IN A NEW BOOK.

Ocean Drive - - Contents - BY JARED SHAPIRO

After log­ging more than 125,000 miles on Mi­ami Beach over the course of 15,092 days, leg­endary beach run­ner Raven is im­mor­tal­ized in a new book.

In 1975, Robert “Raven” Kraft—a high-school dropout and as­pir­ing song­writer down on his luck after a singer stole one of his songs—was ap­proached by two box­ers on mi­ami Beach. They saw his di­sheveled ap­pear­ance and sug­gested he run with them to feel bet­ter. And ever since then, whether in 103-de­gree heat or 86-mile-per-hour hur­ri­cane winds, Raven hasn’t missed a day. Along the way, 2,536 peo­ple (and count­ing) have joined him on his daily eight-mile beach jog. Laura Lee Hut­ten­bach, au­thor of the new book Run­ning with Raven, shares his story:

Who is Raven? “He’s a 66-year-old re­tired security guard who en­cour­ages other peo­ple to keep the parts about them that are unique. He val­ues peo­ple who are them­selves. He is 100 per­cent com­mit­ted to him­self and his word. He was a loner, but he hasn’t run by him­self in 11 years.”

How fast does he run? “Four­teen­minute miles these days, so it’s about a two-hour run. In the 1970s, he did seven-minute miles.”

How does he cover ex­penses? “Re­cently two run­ners started a foun­da­tion for him. His liv­ing ex­penses are low. He re­ally hasn’t left mi­ami Beach in over 40 years, doesn’t have a car or driver’s li­cense.”

How healthy is he? “In­side, he is ex­tremely healthy. He has a pretty rigid di­etary struc­ture, with lots of fruits and veg­gies. Doesn’t eat out at all. And no al­co­hol or smok­ing. But eight miles every day for 42 years has ex­ter­nally caused him spinal steno­sis and sci­at­ica.”

What about when he’s not run­ning? “He writes let­ters to his fel­low joggers and songs, watches base­ball, and he reads.”

How can we run with him? “meet him at the Fifth Street life­guard stand every day. In the win­ter it’s 4:30 pm, and 5:30 pm in sum­mer.”

Who would play Raven in a film adap­ta­tion? “Jared Leto, who played [Steve] pre­fontaine. Or Tom Hanks, be­cause of For­rest Gump.” Run­ning with Raven will be avail­able on ama­zon.com and kens­ing­ton­books.com on April 27.

Robert “Raven” Kraft with some of the shoes he’s worn out in his 42 years of run­ning eight miles a day. ƛƞƥƨưw Raven run­ning with Laura Lee eut­ten­bach, au­thor of a new book on his life (ƢƧƬƞƬ).

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