Tom Foreman is going from covering presidential races and marathon election-night reporting, to running in a marathon himself.
The longtime CNN reporter, who’s crisscrossed the country on assignment for the news outlet since 2004, just wrapped up his fifth (yes, fifth!) back-to-back marathon to promote his new book, “My Year of Running Dangerously: A Dad, a Daughter, and a Ridiculous Plan.”
The journalist, 55, says he wasn’t setting out to write a book when his 18-year-old daughter, an aspiring astronaut who was about to leave for college, approached him with a proposal.
“She said, ‘Well, I should be fit, so why don’t you help me train for a marathon?’”
At first, Foreman, who admits he used to be a long-distance runner when he was younger but was “never particularly good,” balked at the idea. “I really thought of it as beyond me at that point, because I was in my 50s already.”
But the Emmy Award winner says he wanted to connect with his daughter in doing something she cared about — so he laced up his sneakers. And then the CNN correspondent just ran with the whole running thing.
Quipping that he’s an “unnaturally enthusiastic man,” Foreman went from being an “armchair athlete” to competing in three marathons, four half-marathons and a 55-mile ultramarathon over the course of a year. He also logged 2,000 miles in training.
What started out just as an activity to spend time with his kid and get healthy again turned into something more, Foreman says. “What this really became for us as a family was a new way of looking at change and at getting older.
“Running became a new language for our family as we became older because it was a blank page that we could all write on.”
Although Foreman admits some of his colleagues at CNN thought his running endeavor was “unreal,” he says his sprinting sessions have actually helped him on the job.
“At some point, you realize, everything is about endurance,” Foreman explains. Such as last week, when he finished up his fifth marathon in a row, showered, and then appeared on CNN to fact-check the GOP debate until 1:30 in the morning.
“These epic, ultramarathon political seasons now — oh yeah,” Foreman says with a laugh. “This will help tremendously because those nights sitting around at 3 in the morning, I’ll be saying, ‘I’ve been there. This is OK.’”