In 1975 Robert “Raven” Kraft, a high school dropout and aspiring songwriter, made a New Year’s Resolution to run eight miles on Miami’s South Beach each evening. Over 125,000 miles later, he has not missed one sunset.
Along the way, Raven has changed the lives of thousands who have run with him—many of them hundreds of times. From all fifty states and dozens of countries, across all age groups and backgrounds, they come to run with Raven, and in the process find friendship, inspiration—and a nickname.
Among them is author Laura Lee “White Lightning” Huttenbach, who has logged over a thousand miles of Raven Runs. Here she explores the stories of dozens of others about why they started running with Raven—and why they keep coming back. Taxman, an accountant in his mid-60s, has done 1800+ runs. Dizzy, a middle school principal from Cuba, met his wife and his best friend on Raven Runs. Butcher, an ex-convict, credits Raven with saving his life. In an uncertain world Raven shows up, no matter what.
Quirky and appealing, tenacious and magnetic, Raven is a legend of the running world. As he says, “I may be the only thing that hasn’t changed around here in the last forty years.” Laura Lee Huttenbach reveals how one man’s daily ritual has blossomed into an uncanny gift for weaving people together—and an invaluable reminder that the journey means little without the connections forged along the way.
It’s not a race. It’s a way of finding meaning, purpose, and community over the course of eight miles run every day, without fail, for more than forty years.
Raven By The Numbers
125,000+ – Miles Raven has run since January 1975.
15,092 and counting – Straight days of running eight miles.
2,536 – People who have completed eight miles with Raven.
103 – Degrees Fahrenheit on the hottest run (July 4, 2010).
86 – Mile-per-hour wind blowing on the day of Hurricane Irene (October 15, 1999).
85 – Different countries represented by Raven Runners.
80 – Age of the oldest active Raven Runner.
60 – Number of pull-ups Raven does per day (3 sets of 20).
24 – Runners inducted in the Raven Run Hall of Fame.
7 – Hurricanes he’s run through.
0 -- Airplane rides for Raven.
“Raven left an indelible impression upon me, as he has countless others. I am certain that you will find his story as fascinating and enthralling as I have. Raven, long may you run.”
--Dean Karnazes, New York Times bestselling author of Ultramarathon Man
“An inspiring tale of unbreakable discipline and one-of-a-kind endurance.”
–Gerald Posner, bestselling author of Miami Babylon