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News/April 10, 2020

A Daily Run that Goes the Distance

Early morning running journal for a month long challenge

March was a tough time for many people. It’s not easy to stay inside and ‘hunker’ down. April will be much of the same, but Greg Mattacola has found a way to get out and about without breaking the social distancing guidelines. Greg began the calendar running challenge after seeing someone on social media doing the same. He thought, “Why not?”. The calendar club challenge works like this – starting on the first day of the month, run the same miles each day as the day of the month, a total of 465 miles. At the end of the month, you will run five straight days of running a marathon or farther.

Greg created a journal of his daily route, made some observations and took some beautiful photos along the way.

Day 1

I was supposed to run a long race in early May. It is likely getting cancelled. As a substitute and to stay sane during this isolation – I am attempting the calendar running challenge – each day you run the corresponding miles to that day of the month. It’s 465 miles in a month. It’s a bear! To make it fun and try and do some good – I’m going to highlight a different business every day that could use some love during these hard times. For the first two days – I am spotlighting Vine & Fig and Delta Lake Inn – two great restaurants in Rome, NY run by great people. Get some takeout and help them out, you will not regret it. Try the Wasabi Salmon at the Delta Lake Inn and the Cubano at Vine & Fig.


Day 3

3 days down, 27 to go. 6 miles completed, 459 left. Seems simple enough! Today’s local business to support – Vescio’s Franklin Hotel in Rome. Family-owned, great Italian food, and schoolmates of mine going back to the now extinct Rome Catholic days. Go see Phil and the boys and get gnocchi and some great pastries to go. Support your local restaurants and businesses during these challenging times!

Day 4

Day 4 done. 26 to go. 10 miles complete. 455 left. Rome’s Capitol Theatre has been a place for the arts in Rome NY for many years. Music, dance, theatre, cinema. It’s completely shut down because of the pandemic. It still has bills to pay – utilities, payroll, etc. Please consider a small donation. They could use the love. There is information about donating on their web site

Day 5

Day 5 complete. 25 to go. 15 miles in the books. Only 450 left. :) Consider treating yourself to something sweet from Wisk Bakery in downtown Utica. Fantastic baked goods, sandwiches and other delicious items. Great people too. Give them some love. Be healthy, be kind. We got this.

Day 6

6 days complete, 24 to go. 21 miles in, 444 remain! Since I’m a Westmoreland boy, born and raised, today’s foggy and brisk 6 miles was for Knucklehead’s Brewhouse in Westmoreland, NY. In a time and galaxy far away, it was once the Bucket of Blood (if you know, you know). Have no fear, it’s long since been transformed into a great, family-friendly place with outstanding food. They are open for takeout, give them some love! Be safe, be healthy, be kind. We got this!

Day 7

23 days to go. 28 miles complete; ‘only’ 437 left. Today’s 7 miles was for Nicky Doodle’s in Rome, Verona and New Hartford. Their ice cream window is still open and they are still doing carry out. Who doesn’t love ice cream? Treat yourself and give them some love! Be safe, be healthy, be kind. We got this!

I asked Greg how the challenge has helped him. He said that when he is out running, he’s not thinking about financial markets, the fear of the virus, or more specifically, someone he loves contracting it. That was his biggest fear. “I’m not thinking about my sons’ college tuition or my financial planner coursework that I stress over. I clear my mind and I just keep grinding forward. I notice the wildlife, I notice the sunrises, I listen to music. It’s my favorite part of the day.”

Greg ends each of his posts with an uplifting message. “We got this!” Yes, we do. Thank you Greg, for sharing your running journal with us. Keep grinding.

You can follow Greg’s journey on Instagram @mattacola and LinkedIn at



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