By Sue Wolfe
Ted Sabinas, a 34-year Cedar Springs resident, teacher, and cross country coach, recently completed his 20th year of running 3.1 miles every single day. Twenty years calculates out to 240 months, 1040 weeks and 7,300 days, which involved outdoor conditions of extreme heat, snow blizzards, rainstorms, and high winds. Sabinas weathered them all while also teaching, coaching, parenting, grandparenting, and spending time with his wife and friends. He mustered up the time and determination to run a 5K each and every day while many people would be thrilled to just run one 5K in their lifetime.
This daunting goal starting in 1990 when Sabinas decided he would try to achieve running a total of 1,200 miles or 100 miles per month. As of December 8, Sabinas exceeded his original goal and now traveled 22,630 miles. This is further than running from Key West, Florida to Anchorage, Alaska and back (10,340 miles) two times!
When asked how he could run during illnesses, injuries, inclement weather, and time restraints, Sabinas said, “It was a case of mind over matter. I also believe this allows me to be a better cross-country coach. By actually running myself, I can relate to the mental and physical challenges that my runners are facing and implement some strategies and techniques that are helpful. ”
Sabinas also explained, “My father passed away at age 52 from a heart attack. I want to stay active and healthy. At age 58, I feel I can still do most everything I did at 28.” Injuries and incidents have not evaded Sabinas’s running adventures over the past twenty years. He has dealt with pulled muscles, flu, back pain, and colds. He has been chased by a Doberman and had a pigeon fly just overhead with him for almost a mile. While Sabinas’s usual route is down Pine Lake Avenue, he has also run in the summer heat of Puerto Rico and Mexico, the hills of West Virginia, bear country in the Upper Peninsula, and even the deck of a cruise ship. Sabinas was one of two Cedar Springs residents that ran the entire Michigan Coast-to-Coast Run in the late 80s as a fund-raiser for a new Cedar Springs High School track.
When asked what his next goal is, Sabinas replied, “I don’t have a specific number of years or miles in mind but hope to keep running as long as my body will allow me to.”
Sabinas has successfully coached the boy’s cross-country team for 26 years. He has educated his runners in the benefits of running for overall health physically and mentally. He has inspired his runners to be the best they can be, evidenced by his teams’ records of several conference and regional championships, 50-plus invitational wins, and 8 teams that qualified for state. His team’s highest state finish includes a 2nd in 1990 as well as a 5th and 9th place. Coach Sabinas’s cross-country win/loss record for dual meets is 165/46. Sabinas has coached one All-American (Landon Peacock) and 15-plus All-State runners during his cross-country stay.
Sabinas shares the joy and commitment of consistently exercising with his wife Dianne who recently completed 18 years of consecutively walking 1.5 miles per day. His daughter Jennifer is the CSHS girl’s cross-country coach, has run in the River Bank Run, a marathon, and a triathlon. His daughter Sarah is an accomplished collegiate volleyball player and previously a middle school and high school volleyball coach.