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Brownsville’s Schlater surpasses 100,000-mile milestone
Posted 10/26/22 by Edward Severn, Staff Writer, The Brownsville Herald
BROWNSVILLE — Brownsville’s Michael Schlater saved a half-mile — two laps — of the Brownsville St. Joseph’s track Friday evening. The cross country team joined its assistant cross country coach for the first lap, while motivational music blared through the speakers.
Schlater continued without the team for the last quarter mile — the final lap — and received a standing ovation from the fans waiting for a football game to start. Schlater’s stride began to match the rhythm of the music and as he crossed the finish line, family, friends and the cross country team gathered to celebrate the dedicated runner.
The 55-year-old global strategy manager accomplished a feat 41 years in the making: completing his 100,000th mile throughout his running career.
“A lifelong dream came to reality in less than four minutes,” Schlater said. “Unbelievable. I shared it with all the kids, my mom, my brother, living legend track coaches. It could not have been better on such a beautiful night here.”
Schlater began tracking his miles at age 14 when his parents gave him a Runner’s World Log Book. He began logging his miles Feb. 23, 1981. By the end of that year, he had trekked more than 1,000 miles.
It took Slater 24 years to reach the halfway mark of 50,000 miles, doing so Oct. 12, 2005. The achievement put the 100,000-mile goal in his brain, he said.
St. Joseph’s brought Schlater on as an assistant coach in after his first son enrolled at the school. He credits the school for helping reaching the milestone.
“Quite honestly, having the ability to run in the afternoon, two times a day, has been very instrumental in me being able to get to where I am now,” Schlater said. “Having the motivation from the kids to be their coach and the whole support staff, truthfully, I would not be here today without them.”
Having a cross country coach that has 100,000 miles under their belt is “insane,” St. Joseph’s senior Alejandro Ramirez said.
“There are very few people in this world that will do that, and he is one of them,” Ramirez said. “I am very proud to be one of his athletes. He made me the runner who I am today. All the victories and championships we have won is because of him.”
Schlater hit 75,000 miles March 12, 2015, and the dream was starting to become a reality.
“What he has done has touched every single one of us, all of the coaches, even the coaches that he has looked up to are touched by what he has done and the kids admire him so much,” St. Joseph’s head cross country coach Teddy Lopez said. “He has touched a lot of lives here and it is very much appreciated.”
Junior Cesar Silguero and sophomore Jimena Herrera are two more of Schlater’s athletes who are inspired by the milestone.
“I started cross country my freshman year and I was not the best, and I am still not the best, but he is just so uplifting and such a nice person to be around,” Herrera said. “He is always reminding us that we can do it. I am so grateful he is my cross country coach.”
Silguero echoed similar compliments.
“He has been an inspiration to me and all of my teammates,” Silguero said. “My parents are amazed by all the things he does. They are very proud of having me be coached by someone like him, who is a living legend in the Valley and the rest of the world.”
Schlater will submit his accomplishment to a blog maintained by 1968 Boston Marathon winner Amby Burfoot. The blog tracks athletes who have achieved the milestone. Schlater has been in touch with Burfoot, he said.
Burfoot chronicles the runners on the website 100klifetimemiles.com and has 115 runners listed who have achieved the milestone.
Schlater works for a company called Aptiv, a global technology company across the border in Matamoros, Tamaulipas. The job at times requires the 55-yearold to travel, allowing Schlater to trek miles in other countries such as Portugal, Spain, Brazil, Argentina and Canada.
Several thousand of the miles occurred in Mexico. The day after Schlater wrapped up his 100,000mile goal, he ran a 5 kilometer- race in Matamoros.
Schlater has ran numerous 5k and 10k events. Two of his longest races were the Bobby Crim 10 miles in Flint, Michigan, and the River Corridor Classic a half marathon and 5k in Schlater’s Dayton, Ohio, hometown.
The 55-year-old runner also has another prestigious running achievement. Schlater is on a 7,712-day running streak, currently ranked 105th overall in the world. He hasn’t missed a day of running since Sept. 11, 2001.
There are 4,098 streaks being tracked by Streak Runners International and the United States Running Streak Association.
“Running embodies everything about me,” Schlater said. “It embodies dedication, discipline, it is a physical manifestation of that. It is something that I thoroughly enjoy to relieve stress and to have my own time for myself. It is something that has grown on me for years and years that aligns with me and my personality.”
Maybe 150,000 miles is the next goal for the cross country coach, but for now Schlater will be up and running at 4:45 a.m. around Brownsville.
To see another article about Mike, go to Valley Central News Website.