Trucking is a sedentary lifestyle. Drivers spend up to 11 hours a day, 6 days a week sitting behind the wheel, which doesn’t leave a lot of time for exercise, but Artur Express driver Mickey Wilkerson has found a way to integrate his love of running into his daily life.
“I do most of my running around the truck stop and rest area parking lots and try to work in at least 3 days of 2 mile runs during the week. I do my longer runs at home or during 34 resets on the road. I like to stop at the same places so I try to I corporate a 2 mile run during my 30 minute breaks,” Wilkerson said.
Wilkerson, 50, has been a truck driver for 22 years. He said he developed his love for running during his time in the Navy.
“I came to running marathons and ultra type racing from weight lifting while I was in the Navy. I ran for cardio and started to find that the longer I ran the more stress I relieved. It then grew to ‘how far can I go?'” “I started out with 5k’s then progressed into 10k’s then half and full marathons,” continued Wilkerson.
He recently completed his third St. Jude’s marathon. He told Artur Express he started running St. Jude’s marathons because he was inspired by how the staff treated his cousin when he will ill.
“I enjoy running this race because my Cousin was a patient there in the 80’s when we were kids. We visited her there a few times and I remember being so amazed at what people were trying to do for those kids,” Wilkerson said.
The 26.2 course runs through the hospital. Wilkerson said the race was so impactful, he continued to participate in the marathon and donate to the organization.
Wilkerson, who has been at Artur Express since April of 2021, said driving with Artur Express has allowed him to have a predictable schedule so that he can continue to run and train for marathons.
“I live 66 miles from Jackson Missouri. I typically pickup there on Monday morning going to Shippensburg Pa. Then up to Topton or Alburtis Pa going to Oelwein Iowa. Then Ames Iowa to Warrenton Mo. home Saturday afternoon. I run a lot in the big rest area near Greenfield Indiana east of Indianapolis on interstate 70. Another favorite is the rest area east of Columbus Ohio on Interstate 70 before Zanesville. I also run a lot in Bellefonte Pa off Interstate 99 at the Rutters fuel stop. This one is nice and hilly. My favorite trail is in Ellsworth Iowa. There is a paved running path about a quarter of a mile from the Loves there. It runs 3 miles from Ellsworth Iowa to the town of Jewel Iowa. That is exit 133 off interstate 35. I have probably run 100 miles on that trail in the last four years. I can run laps around any parking lot of most truck stops. I have a few night time running shirts with reflectors to make myself seen,” Wilkerson explained.
To anyone wanting to improve their health and start exercising, Wilkerson suggests, ” I would just simply say start,” Mickey said. “Start walking, riding a bike, or anything that might interest you. Too many people get hung up on a number on a scale and get discouraged right from the start. Find something that you find fun and incorporate it into your lifestyle.”