IN 2011 MY DAD GAVE ME AN ARTICLE about streak runners who run everyday. I figured “I could do that, I could go for the record.” I didn’t have to be fast, I just had to be persistent.
On Thursday September 1st, 2011 I went for a run with the intention of running everyday.
For 3,131 consecutive days I ran at least 1 mile everyday. I ran on sunny days, I ran in the rain, I ran in the snow, I ran when it was 94°F and when it was -1°F. I ran in 17 countries and in circles on cruise ships at sea.
The following are the details and an analysis of my running streak.
Annual totals & averages.
Totals & averages as well as annual year over year (YOY) changes.
If you traveled 9,221 miles, how far around is that?
The moon may not be very big, but it’s pretty far away.
55 days, 7 hours, 46 minutes, 46 seconds • 8:38 pace
Running everyday for 8.5 years is a good amount of time, but if you took all of the time spent actually running and ran it continuously, it’s only 55 days.
Running at least one mile everyday for 8.5 years is something, but it pales in comparison to the king Ron Hill.
English runner Ron Hill holds the world record for the longest running streak. Having won the 1970 Boston Marathon, Ron Hill is a legendary runner even without his running streak, but on January 30, 2017 he voluntarily ended his streak at 52 years 39 days.
My average pace was 8:38 miles (6.95 mph).
An 8:38 pace is not my best race pace (but if we’re talking marathons then I’d love to have an 8:38 pace). Outside of racing, an 8:38 is a nice pace to see the neighborhood.
HUMANS VS ANIMALS
Compared to other animals, humans are fairly slow. That said most fast animals are only fast for short distances, whereas humans are better at running long distances (see the Endurance running hypothesis). In our days as hunter-gatherers, if outsmarting an animal wasn't working, humans could wear down an animal by continuously running after it.
All of that said, my casual 6.95 mph pace is pretty slow. If I was chasing (or being chased by) some of these animals, I’d pick up the pace ... or hide.
14 pairs of shoes to cover 9,221 miles.
WHEN THE WORLD STOPPED IN 2020, the streak stopped not long after.
On Friday March 27th, 2020 I went for a run but wasn’t feeling it and only ran a mile. That night I woke up with a fever of 100°F and the worst shakes I have ever had.
What unfolded over the next 5 days was a combination of intense sinus pain, chills, weakness, aches, dizzyness, and fevers. I couldn't sleep at night so I’d take afternoon naps when the shakes would start up again. I’d wake up feeling better but with a fever of 103°F.
During Saturday March 28th I had these symptoms and it rained all day. I felt it would be "imprudent" ( ... i.e. "stupid") to go for a 1 mile run feeling delirious with a fever in the rain during a global pandemic without a vaccine.
March 28th, 2020 was the first day I hadn’t put on running shoes in 8.5 years.