Obsessive-Compulsive Running and Running Streaks

My last post to this blog was at 10:08 pm on Monday night.  It was kind of a negative post.  I shut down the computer, laced up the shoes, and went out for a run.  I love the cooler temperatures this week and my body has reacted positively to both the cold and to the work of my chiropractor.  So after 2 weeks of back pain and a 5 week downhill spiral in my training, I think I'm back to FEELING GOOD AGAIN!

Runner's World recently mentioned Ron Hill, who is a 3-time Olympic Marathoner who won the 1970 Boston Marathon in a (then) course record of 2 hours, 10 1/2 minutes.  Hill is now 71 years old and what really got my attention is the fact that he has running streak of nearly 45 years!!

I was born in July 1964.  Ron Hill has not missed a day of running since December 1964!

Heck, now I'm feeling guilty that I took 5 days off when I had the swine flu earlier this month!  I could have run just 1 measly mile each day!

Nah!!  I'm not THAT obsessed with running (though my wife would argue that point).

Ron Hill has been able to run at least 1 mile each day at ANY pace, so he was able to continue to continue his streak after bunion surgery, wearing a plaster cast crutch), by running some miles in the 20 minute range.  He broke his sternum in a 1993 head-on car crash but luckily had already run earlier that day.  But for the next month he sneaked out of the house while his wife was out shopping or was still asleep.

This dude is crazy and obsessed with his running!  I love it!

I'm a bit obsessive-compulsive with my running but I have my limits. Call me a wimp, but if I'm REALLY sick I'll take time off.  If I'm injured to the point I cannot run, I don't run.  On rare occasions I am simply too tired to run. 

Sometimes I'll take a rare day off while on vacation. But running makes me feel good!  So usually, and my wife tries to understand, I RUN.

Ron Hill has been running for 45 years straight.  There's no way I could catch him if I started now (especially if he keeps this up another 10, 20 years!). So thankfully I feel no competitive need to not take a day off.

Ron Hill is based in the U.K. The longest running streak in the U.S. is held by Mark Covert, 58, of Lancaster, California. Covert has been running every day since 7/23/68.  So he is nearly 4 years behind Hill.  But...Covert is 13 years younger than Hill.

Interestingly, the 2nd person on the U.S. list is also close by. Jon Sutherland of West Hills, California is also 58 and has been running since 5/26/69.

Simply amazing.  Even more amazing is that there is an actual organization that tracks and certifies the country's longest running streaks.  The United States Running Streak Association, Inc. tracks U.S. run streaks at www.runeveryday.com.

The USRSA accept runners with a streak of 1 year or more into their database.  A run qualifies as part of a streak as long as it is continuous and under one's own body power, unaided by canes or crutches.

On the home page of the USRSA website is a link to an article called "Caution: The Dangers of Streak Running."  Ha ha ha.

Well happy Halloween running and enjoy the extra hour of sleep this Sunday as we fall back!