Okay it’s here.
Today marks eight years since I began a running ‘streak’ – running every single day without fail for a minimum distance of one mile. In practice the distance has been anywhere between one and twenty-six point-two miles (The London Marathon) along the way. I’m going to save the full story for another day but I’d just like to relate how it began and a couple of memories along the way from this past eight years.
I’d been originally thinking of this project for some time and had even achieved a period of several months of marathon training before sadly succumbing with a broken big toe. Ironically that was not caused by the seventy/eighty miles a week I was training at that time but by stubbing my foot on a door frame in the home! Such is life I mused as I struggled through a couple of painful eight and five-mile runs with the fractured toe before realising that particular streak was sadly at an end.
The idea of ‘The Streak’ came from former Olympic runner, Ron Hill. Ron is usually the first individual the running fraternity think of when the term is mentioned, his own Streak beginning way back in 1964 and still ongoing at 15,742 runs this very day. I took Ron’s criteria of running at least one mile a day and sometimes smile at the things he did to continue his long unbroken run of days. The former marathoner has told of running after a car crash in which he sustained a broken sternum and heart damage. Now that’s serious stuff. It almost makes his ‘run’ on crutches the day after an operation for bunions seem like small beer. This is the sort of mindset a streak puts you in however so I can easily understand what was going through Ron’s mind as people were undoubtedly calling him crazy for doing what he did. It’s difficult for others to understand the time, hardship and investment that goes into a Streak.
Over the past eight years I have been very fortunate with injuries, thank you God for that. I have however run with torn muscles on several occasions and dragged myself out of bed when I could hardly stand with a bad case of influenza. Travelling and holidays often presented a problem. I have run around airports whilst waiting for a late flight arriving, I have run down back lanes in Italy with a pack of dogs chasing me and got hopelessly lost in Rome when not being able to find my way back to the piazza upon where my hotel was situated. I have run in temperatures of -30 in Canada when the cold air burnt my throat and froze my eyelashes. I have returned home from a run with heat stroke conversely.
The Streak has enabled me to run in some beautiful places. Beaches, mountains, major cities such as Vancouver, London, Naples and Edinburgh. It’s also enabled me to connect back to nature on the majority of days, most often when I run in the beautiful old hunting estate, Bestwood, part of the original Sherwood forest in Nottinghamshire. I’ve done an awful lot over the years to maintain it thus far but it’s given me an awful lot in return. I have no idea if, how and when it will end but will continue to treat it one day at a time as I have always chosen to.
In four hours time it will be time once more to drag those trainers and kit on and today head off to dear old Bestwood for another three miles-worth of The Streak. Wish me luck!
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