Runner Eats Only McDonald's For 30 Days Leading Up To the 2011 Los Angeles Marathon!

I loved reading about this. Joe D'Amico of Palatine, Illinois finished the 2011 Los Angeles Marathon on March 20th in a personal best time of 2 hours, 36 minutes, 17 seconds. He deservingly got a lot of press across the country because as a fundraising challenge, he committed to eating ONLY McDonald's food for the 30 days leading up the marathon. He raised over $40,000 for the Ronald McDonald House Charities in Chicago and Indiana. Way to go all around, Joe!

Of course most of the press fixated on McDonalds and burgers in the headlines, with visions of Morgan Spurlock's Super Size Me in mind. In Super Size Me, Spurlock had to eat EVERY ITEM on the McDonald's menu at least once. On top of that, he reduced his exercise level down to what the "average" American does. So of course he gained over 24 pounds over a month.

D'Amico, on the other hand, ate only McDonald's food for a month but ate at his own discretion. Over 30 days, he dined at 33 different McDonald's over 99 visits. Some highlights of his consumption:

  • Angus Burgers: 1
  • Filet-o-Fish: 3
  • Hotcakes: 97
  • Oatmeal: 24
  • Hamburgers: 23
  • Chicken Snack Wraps: 24
  • Chocolate Milk: 9
  • Fruit & Walnut Salads: 14
  • Cookies: 63.5
  • Soft Drinks: 23

This list is not complete but in general shows what I know well...that you can actually eat decent, healthful food at McDonald's. Joe appears to be a hotcake fan. Great source of carbs for the 359 miles he ran in 30 days. I think the oatmeal at McDonald's is pretty decent - he had it 24 times. 63.5 cookies seems like a lot, but not so much for a 30 day period given the number of calories he burned.

Missing from the list are Big Macs, Quarter Pounders and Sausage McMuffins. He did have fries about 17 times or so, but usually just a small bag or less.

So there is hope for you fast foodies who want to run a marathon! Read more about Joe and his training at