North Huntingdon 'running man' keeps up 21-year streak
One day in 1992, David Gulasy laced up his shoes and went for a run.
He hasn't missed a day since, regardless of the weather or other obstacles — even of the four-legged variety.
Gulasy has gone running each morning for 7,708 consecutive days, which amounts to about 21 years.
Gulasy, 64, first started running in 1976.
“When I started, I thought I was too fat, so I'd run during the week, and take weekends off,” Gulasy said.
“But then, at some point, in 1992, I said, ‘I'm going to keep running.'”
Gulasy set small goals and marked his progress daily.
He said watching the number of days balloon made him eager to keep going.
He runs a minimum of two miles per day but has gone as far as seven miles at a time, he said.
His favorite spots are Norwin Knights Stadium and Serra Catholic High School in McKeesport, but when the two schools' tracks are covered with snow, he usually will run the streets in his neighborhood.
“When I'm out bright and early, I'm dodging snow plows this time of year,” Gulasy said, with a laugh.
“I think I've seen just about every kind of weather situation — lightning storms, pouring down rain, blizzards and wind.
“It makes it tough, but I enjoy it.”
Sometimes Gulasy encounters wildlife on his early-morning runs, even at Norwin and Serra Catholic's stadiums.
One morning, Gulasy said he found a pack of skunks on Norwin's track, and another time at Serra Catholic, he encountered about 20 turkeys.
“Turkeys are stupid birds because they came in the gate but didn't know how to get back out,” he said.
“They'd run in front of me, like I was chasing them, until they figured out they could spread their wings and go right over the fence.”
Gulasy's wife, Mary Ann, said she's glad her husband has found something he enjoys.
His dedication not only impresses her, but also motivates their three children, she said.
“Our son, Doug, has picked up the running bug and is running in the Pittsburgh Marathon's half-marathon this year,” she said.
“Our oldest, Amy, runs 5Ks, and our daughter, Lisa, is also very athletic.
“His athletic abilities and gumption have provided a lot of perspective for our children.”
David Gulasy said he has no plans of stopping and thinks more people could have similar accomplishments.
“I think motivation has to be personal,” he said. “You just have to find something you enjoy and be self-motivated.
“You just have to find it within yourself.”
Brad Pedersen is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8626, or firstname.lastname@example.org.