Who is Mike Ehredt:
At age 53, this retired postal clerk and Army Veteran, continues to accomplish physical feats considered amazing for someone half his age. Mike sends a message and shares with others through his job as a personal trainer and running coach, that big dreams are achievable with planning, perseverance and patience. Day after day, this soft-spoken, Idaho native proves ordinary people can do extraordinary things, which makes him an outstanding Hyland’s Masters Athlete.
In 2010, the dawn of his larger vision, Project America Run came to fruition. – The concept of One Life-One Flag-One Mile was to honor fallen American soldiers from the war in Iraq. During this 4424 mile run, Mike traveled alone with no following or support vehicle. From the Oregon coast to the coast of Maine, he pushed a jogger stroller with his flags, running more than a marathon a day, and stopping every mile to plant an American flag inscribed with the name, rank, age and hometown of fallen soldiers. Mike would stay with host families that had been pre-arranged a year in advance. They were Americans that he had never met and they opened their doors to his mission.
In May of 2011, Mike set off on a 500 mile run along the historic pilgrimage route the Camino de Santiago in Spain. His journey purpose was to raise awareness and funds for Honoring Our Veterans, a Jackson Hole, WY, based organization providing social and rehabilitative services to Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans. It was to also give him some clarity on a job that he felt was unfinished.
For the second time in two years, Mike set out on another epic run to honor fallen U.S. Soldiers. His runs have no political agenda and no statement of protest. Instead, they represent one man’s personal tribute and gift of thanks to the soldiers and Marines who have died in service to this country.
In 2012, commencing on August 25th and ending on Veteran’s Day, Mike embarked on Project America Run II. Beginning on the Canadian border in Minnesota and ending at the Gulf of Mexico in Texas, Mike ran alone once more, covering the equivalent of a marathon a day, for over two months with no days off, stopping each mile to plant a flag inscribed with the name of a fallen American soldier in Afghanistan.
Today there is now an invisible wall that stretches across our country. We are guarded from above by the souls of those loved ones we have lost. 6570 miles from north to south and east to west. Each flag, each name forever archived with the location of placement. It has become in a sense a wall of honor, a memorial highway and a tribute to their valor.
From a young age he has always ran. Beginning with a $1 bet in the sixth grade that he could not run a mile and throughout high school during his formative years of cross country and track he constantly had one foot in front of the other.
Upon graduation from high school Mike would enter the military and won a European Cross Country Championship while serving in the Army. His legs have carried him to personal bests in the 5k of 15:45, 10K 33:45, Marathon 2:52, 50 miles 7:24 and 100 miles in 19:02
Discovering cycling in his 20s he competed on the road for 12 years as a Category 2 cyclist in Florida and Illinois, qualifying for the National Time Trial Championships twice. In 1996 he rode 474 miles in 24 hours raising over $12,000 for Muscular Dystrophy. This in turn led him to a mountain biking stint and he would twice win the Illinois Championships for Veterans.
The desire to further expand his skills took him to Adventure Racing where he would compete in two Eco Challenges (Borneo and Fiji), finish New Zealand’s famed Southern Traverse and in 2004 finish Primal Quest in California.
Mike became a Race Director in the Midwest for 5 years, conducting the Great Mississippi River Adventure Series in Northern Illinois and sharing his knowledge with new racers through numerous one-day clinics and races from 2000-2005.
The draw of water led him to downriver canoe racing and he would win a National Championship in Canoe Orienteering. He competed twice in the World 24 Hour Rogaine Championships (Orienteering) finishing as high as sixth place.
In 2006 he completed a 250 mile Trans-Himalayan run in Nepal. Twice he has finished in the top 150 at the Marathon des Sables- a six day race across the Sahara. In 2008 he became one of only 34 people to ever finish the Rocky Mountain Slam which consists of Bighorn, Hardrock, Wasatch and the Bear 100 mile races in the span of 4 months. In 2013 he became the 9th person to circumnavigate Mt. Kilimanjaro on foot. A distance of 180 miles on trail over 6 days. In 2015 Mike completed his 3rd Hardrock Hundred in Silverton, CO and the toughest 100 mile trail race in North America.
Mike is now a certified personal trainer in Sandpoint, ID and an online running coach. He is constantly seeking to gain more knowledge as he aspires to help others find their true potential through functional, realistic training methods and goals with truly achievable results. He inspires others to dream bigger than they ever imagined.