Determined, dedicated and driven are the best words to describe Elijah Arranz
The 13-year-old ran at least 1.6 kilometres every day for more than a year and now has his sights set on racing in the Australian Running Festival in April.
The Flynn teenager has been running ever since he could walk, but began taking it more seriously at the end of 2013 when he set himself an impressive challenge.
"My dad was in the physio [waiting room], and he picked up an article," Elijah said.
"It was about people who do running streaks. Some of the guys had done it for like 60 years now.
"I thought to myself 'that would be really fun to try', so I gave myself a goal, which was one year, and I met my goal."
Elijah's fitness improved dramatically by running every day. He competed in several local races, finishing first in his division of the 2014 Run with the Wind, Run for your Lifeline, and the Variety Santa Fun.
Throughout his journey, Elijah ran an average of three kilometres a day, battling ferocious weather, poor health and even dangerous animals.
"I've run through a couple of thunderstorms now, it's not fun," Elijah said.
"I've also had some animal incidents. One time, I had only run a couple of hundred metres, and a magpie just came and swooped, a very vicious magpie. Another time, I was doing some laps around Mount Rogers and came across a brown snake."
One day he ran with a sprained ankle.
Elijah continued his streak even after achieving his goal and running has become a part of his lifestyle.
"If I put that much effort in, why would I stop?"
By this stage, he was running up to 14 kilometres on some days.
He didn't set a new aim, but just kept running until he injured his hamstring during an 800-metre race on day 426.
Although Elijah was initially disheartened at the fact he had to take a few weeks off running, he said he was keen to get back into it.
He wasn't sure if he'd re-attempt his streak, but he had his mind set on a new goal.
"I've decided to cut out lollies, soft-drink, slushies, chocolate, chips, and anything that has any sugar in it," Elijah said.
Lollies are his weakness.
His new challenge began on February 1, but it doesn't have an end date.
If his previous perseverance is anything to go by, he'll be sugar-free for life.
The 2015 Australian Running Festival features the adidas 5km and 10km on Saturday, April 11 and the half marathon, marathon and ultramarathon on Sunday, April 12.
For event information or to enter, visit runningfestival.com.au.
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