CRANFORD, NJ – This April, Cranford resident Eric Rubinson set out to run every street in the entire town before Memorial Day. He ran about 230 miles across approximately six weeks to complete his goal.
Rubinson, who moved to Cranford in 2007, decided to run every block in Cranford in an attempt to increase the distance of his runs, see more of the town, and get out of the rut he was in after repeatedly running the same course.
“Based on the size of the town, I set a goal to run every block with each run starting and finishing from my house, figuring that the longest direct runs across town and back could be five to six miles, or longer if I added extra blocks,” Rubinson said.
Currently, Rubinson said his run across town has inspired him to research his local history.
“I see Cranford in a new way,” he said. “The town expanded over many decades, and different areas reflect the times in which were assimilated into town. I’d say that this led to more questions than answers for me.”
Rubinson has previously ran in more than 50 marathons with at least one in every state. His last run, in his hometown of Middletown in 2012, inspired him to launch his charity, Track Friday. On the Friday after Thanksgiving, Track Friday invites participants to run on nearby high school tracks to raise funds for the charity of their choice. Participants can run any distance they choose without the pressure of a time clock.
“I started Track Friday after running a marathon on my high school track in Middletown to raise money for the local foodbank after Hurricane Sandy,” Rubinson said. “When I saw the success of the idea, I knew it could grow and offer a creative way for people to help causes they care about.”
As of 2015, after Rubinson was featured in “Runners World,” Track Friday was spread to more than 20 states. In 2016, Track Friday received approximately $14,000 from the Cranford Jaycees that will be given to 15 charities. Rubinson hopes to maintain that success in 2017 in Cranford and across the county.
“I hope to run a marathon or half marathon for this year’s Track Friday, since it is the five-year anniversary of Hurricane Sandy,” Rubinson said. “My goal is to bring awareness to the significant work that still lies ahead for so many families that have still not recovered from the damage. If my running endeavors are a way to bring attention to these important local matters, I’m happy to do it, but I want people to join me.”