By Jim Akers
For the Sun
On Wednesday, April 7, Seal Beach resident Jim Akers completed more than 100,000 steps in 24 hours. Fitbit called it the ultimate daily badge. The medical profession recommends ten thousand steps a day. Jim did ten days’ worth of healthy.
Akers, just shy of his 74th birthday, started seriously training for the Fitbit Ultimate Badge in December, 2020. April 7 was to be another long training day in anticipation of his final run in May to accomplish 100,000 steps in a day.
This is his account:
It was at the 80,000 step mark that I knew I was within reach of the ultimate mark of one hundred thousand steps, said Jim. I made the decision to go for the ultimate goal a month early. This accomplishment was like an expedition. I planned and trained specifically for steps and not speed or time.
I studied routes, road conditions and safety considerations that would allow me to go at least 40 miles or more and I knew running around a track was not going to get it. In February, I realized due to my age that I needed more time and decided to run in the early-early morning. Since April was the month before the final event, I thought it necessary to run in the early morning to see how it feels.
I ran 10 miles which was twenty-one thousand steps from 12:04 am to 2:37 am. I already had a route mapped out for the Seal Beach area.
I got home and slept until about 4:30 a.m. and then out again for the final adventure. My training route was Anderson Street and S. Pacific Avenue in Surfside to the Wedge in Newport Beach—a good 15 miles south and back.
I chose this route because it was relatively level, lighted, with open bathrooms and water fountains. When I returned to my car in the afternoon I still had 10,000 steps to go. My wife Rita helped me finished off my final steps while watching the sun set in the Alamitos Bay area.
I had some Good Samaritans along the way, but would especially like to thank Gene at Fry’s Market on 15th Street in Newport Beach for allowing me to charge my Fitbit watch, which only had 12% power left.