John Runs for 9000 Straight Days

By: Andrea

What is your longest running streak? Most of us don't think about this as we take a rest day here or there, but let me introduce to John, our resident streak runner. John works at the store, and you've probably seen him either here or out with the Seattle Running Club. One really fun fact about John is that he's been running every SINGLE day since he was a boy. And tomorrow is his 9000th day (over 24 years) of running every day.  He's inviting folks to 'join' him and enter the miles you run tomorrow on his tracker. He's hoping to reach 9000 miles amongst his community of runners. Keep reading to learn about streak running, the craziest things he's every done to fit a run in, and of course, how to count your miles towards his 9000th day!

What was your very first day of your running streak?
Sunday, December 31, 1989.  I'll be entering my 25th year on 12/31/2014.

At what point did you realize that you were sucked in you were going for it?
After a week straight, my dad and I  made a bet. The first person to miss a day had to pay the other one $20. Another week passed and we were still going strong. January passed and I wasn't about to lose $20. Two months, six months and finally a whole year passed.

What goes into a running streak? Any rules?
The official definition of a running streak, as adopted by the Streak Runners International, Inc., and United States Running Streak Association, Inc., is to run at least one continuous mile (1.61 kilometers) within each calendar day under one's own body power (without the utilization of any type of health or mechanical aid other than prosthetic devices). 

Running under one's own body power can occur on either the roads, a track, over hill and dale, or on a treadmill. Running cannot occur through the use of canes, crutches or banisters, or reliance on pools or aquatic devices to create artificial buoyancy. See http://www.runeveryday.com for more info!

How many people are currently being tracked?
There are 458 people on the USA Active Streak list with at least 365 consecutive 1 mile days.  I have the 3rd longest streak in Washington - the other two have over 40 years.   There are another 338 streaks compiled on the USA Retired Streak list with some people showing up multiple times.  There are also about 20 international active and retired streaks.

What is the craziest thing you've ever done to make sure you got your mile in for the day?
I've left early during movies; exited from interstates on drives home; ran in dress shoes, boots, sandals, barefoot, untied shoes; scheduled in a mile on my wedding day and the birth of my 2 boys (even had a race the morning after we were married!); ran a mile tied to my dad with a neck-tie after getting a patch for my eye from scratching the cornea with a tree branch (and untying the neck-tie when I wanted to speed up); ran a mile 12 hours after an emergency appendectomy and trying not to let the glue on the incision come apart; tempt the fates weekly by running as late as 11:45pm.

What is the best thing the daily run has brought to your life?
A few things come to mind.  Health for one thing - training smart, listening to your body, racing hard but leaving a little bit left for the next day's run.  Inspiring others by example.  Love to see friends and family or folks that have read or heard about the streak and running in general entering a 5K, completing a marathon, or achieving their own goals.  Love to travel and explore the US and a few places overseas on foot.  Very fun running in places that are usually closed off to the public or generally inaccessible to people on foot.  

Tomorrow, is your 9000th day? How are you celebrating?
Going for a run of course.  5-6 miles with a group in West Seattle.  We'll meet at 5:30am at the corner of California Ave SW and SW Alaska (http://goo.gl/maps/F0snD).  In conjunction with the local run, I'm asking folks from around the world to join me virtually and enter their miles on that day in the quest of reaching 9000.  There is a Facebook Event Page to RSVP.  You can also go directly to the mileage entry page and fill out the form. 

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