—Reporting and writing largely contributed by Paramount Booking International
Shadrack Anderson never bought into the saying, “Always put your best foot forward,” and, in fact, does the exact opposite.
Anderson, a native of East Honolulu, has been opening eyes and grabbing attention for years with his unique running style, as he literally runs backward.
For Anderson it began in Louisiana on a summer day in 1966, where he was a platoon leader on a training mission. He recalls falling into a deep trance in the 104-degree heat and then snapping out if it when one his men pointed out Anderson was running backward in formation. He hasn’t stopped since.
On Sept. 3 Anderson left Santa Monica Pier in Los Angeles and headed for San Francisco. He expects to arrive there in about 40 days.
“This is a 483-mile run, and I’m running it backward,” said Anderson, who also is a writer and a musician.
On Monday afternoon he reached Salinas, and expects to be in Gilroy by Wednesday or Thursday.
"Highway 101 is my route unless CHP diverts me," Anderson told Gilroy Patch.
For Anderson, the inspiration to run backwards is deep-rooted and emotional.
“When I run backward I feel vibrational; spiritual is an easy word but it’s not good enough,” said Anderson. “I vibrate so high that it takes hours and hours to come back down, like a decompression.”
In 40 years Anderson has fallen only four times. “Truth is, I do 300 percent more at 65-years-young than I did at the age of 25,” he said. “The energy efficiency just keeps increasing."
Anderson is in phenomenal shape. He’s competed in dozens of marathons – all but one running backward. His best time was 4 hours, 30 minutes. He understands why people stare when he runs by and hopes he is inspiring others to think big. His latest challenge will provide plenty of inspiration.
It’s hard to believe, but Anderson said his health was once in shambles. He suffered from hypertension and he admits there was a time in his life when he could barely run around the block.
Anderson said the one message he wants to deliver with his run from Los Angeles to San Francisco is to challenge people to do something more than what is normal and within their comfort zone.
“I want people to know that altering one’s lifestyle and realigning with the flow and will of nature will guarantee an eternal and potent unending supply of energy.”