On the last day of January the most famous run streak in the world came to an end with (I imagine) a bit of a whimper.
The streaker who stopped streaker was Ron Hill. His streak lasted 52 years and 39 days.
He kept his clothes on. A run streak (for those unfamiliar with the term) is the act of running at least a mile every day, no excuses. They’re often held up as challenges on Strava and other public declarations of personal running greatness.
Ron Hill (78) is a fantastic athlete and veteran of 115 marathons. He was the first British runner to win the Boston marathon and competed in three Olympics. His running every day was not even interrupted by crises of ill health and car accidents, until this year, when the pain in his chest warned him that all was not well, and he felt a duty to his family to back off.
I’ve toyed with the idea of daily running a mile before breakfast. I managed that for a while. Not an especially impressive streak, but even that resolution, one of many listed in my (thankfully very private) diary proved too much for me.
I’ve been running, but not well enough, often enough or, indeed, happily enough since then. After last November’s salutary first lesson in fell running various muscle-and-tendon niggles all seemed to gang up on me and make every run a pain. My parkrun times plummeted. I did a couple of cross country runs with my club but felt off-form, so decided to give blood, rest up and stay away from track and road running for a couple of weeks.
Coming back to it in December, I could still feel trouble brewing in my Achilles tendon but, of course, ignored it. It refused to be sidelined, however, and eventually drove me to the physiotherapist.
Since then I have spent a lot of time on my yoga mat, and doing many heel dips a day and, after another 10-day lay off at the beginning of January caused by a bout of bronchitis, I am gradually seeing improvements. I am still a lumbering parkrunner compared to the granny that scorched round and earned her PB in 2015, but I no longer feel hopeless about my running.
Best of all, I am really enjoying my running, and now mornings and evenings are lighter, am happily stuck into training for the London Marathon.
I’m on day 53 of 116 days of marathon training. All those 116 will not be running days, though. I don’t think I’m Marathon Gran enough to streak.