Man celebrates 80th birthday by running 80 miles

UPDATE: On Saturday, Ken’s granddaughter told 24 Hour News 8 that he ended short of his goal. Ken had to stop after running 50 miles.

GRANDVILLE, Mich. (WOOD) — A man turned 80 years old on Thursday, and to celebrate he is running a long, long way.

Ken Burns is running 80 miles Friday and Saturday. He hopes to get it all done in a 30 hour period.

Burns is running laps at Heritage Park in Grandville. He started bright and early at 5:30 a.m. Friday. He thinks he will be done around noon Saturday.

His family and friends are there to run with him and cheer him on. They say he has done things like this before — hiking through the Appalachian Trail and running the rim of the Grand Canyon.

They are a little worried about this challenge, but they are there to help and support him.

“I’ve never seen anyone with more determination in my life. It doesn’t matter how he feels. He actually tripped two to three weeks ago and broke his nose. He finished running still that day, nothing stops him really,” said Sharon Dryfhout, Ken’s daughter.

Eighty miles is like driving from Grand Rapids to Battle Creek on the highway. Compare that to the annual 25K at the River Bank Run, which is 15 miles, and a full marathon is 26 miles.

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