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Imagine running the same eight-point-something mile loop every single day.  For 14,279 days.  IN A ROW.  That’s 39 years of running with NO rest days.  In case you’re curious, that adds up to 107,465.3 miles (as of October 2014).

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Meet Raven, as he is affectionately known.  I read about Raven (real name – Robert Kraft) in an airplane magazine article entitled – most fittingly – The Long Run.  The article details why and how Raven runs the same route over and over again, calling the streak as “inspiring as it is exhausting.”

 

The Raven fitness plan probably isn’t for everyone. It goes something like this: Wake up. Run eight miles. Repeat every day for 39 years. And there’s more to it. Two hours before the run, Raven bikes six blocks from his Ocean Drive apartment to the outdoor gym at Ninth Street. There, with young bodybuilders and gymnasts swinging from the monkey bars in the background, Raven drops to the sand in push-up position. He completes one set of his age, plus one rep, then moves to the pull-up bar. He grunts through three sets of 20, followed by a 45-second hang with the bar resting against the back of his neck. That happens, as one might guess, every day.

 

Reading about Raven lead me to the United States Running Streak Association, which keeps track of other ‘streak’ runners.  A streak, as defined by the organization, involves running at least one mile a day.  The run can be on the road or on the treadmill, and it doesn’t matter how fast you go, but you can’t use any ‘assisting devices’ like canes or crutches (prosthetics are okay), and runs in the pool do not count.

running streaks

The Raven isn’t even in the Top 7 streak runners!  Seven men have been running every day for more than FORTY YEARS.  But the Raven is unique in that he runs the same route every day, which no one else has done.

 

Here’s something interesting… There are NO women in the Top 50.  The longest female streak runner is Barbara Latta, who began her streak on December 5th, 1983 and has been running for 30 straight years.  Out of the 428 runners that the Association keeps track of, only 82 are women.

 

To qualify for a ‘streak,’ you have to have run every day for at least a year.  If you are so inclined, you can apply to be part of the organization using this form.  (Side note: The Association acknowledges that there are some dangers associated with streak running…)

 

Speaking of running, I did 8 miles this morning.  It was a ho-hum run.  I felt sluggish and tired through a lot of it.  I ended up crashing on the driveway afterwards – SO TIRED.

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What’s your longest running streak?  Mine is probably four days.  I don’t keep track of these things, though, so that’s just an educated guess!  It MAY be five, but I doubt it.

{ 28 comments }

 

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  • Breanne February 3, 2014, 3:24 pm

    I’m pretty sure my “streak” is no more than 3… if that! Wow, what incredible stories! I’d get so burnt out though. And no rest days! I love my rest days!

    Reply
  • Meredith @ The Cookie ChRUNicles February 3, 2014, 3:30 pm

    My goodness is all I can say. Maybe I can see a mile a day for years, maybe. I assume this man was never sick? Or worse, he continued to run 8 MILES while sick? Geez. Yikes. And good for him…My only other thought is – did he never encounter a day with the stomach virus? How could anyone run with that? lol

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    • Caitlin February 3, 2014, 3:35 pm

      In the airplane mag article, they said he once ran with food poisoning in a hail storm. He also has a debilitating spinal disease and runs through it.

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      • Carina February 4, 2014, 11:56 am

        But he never gets to go on vacation and run a different 8 mile loop? That kind of makes his world seem small and sad to me. I’m all for streaks, but I think the best kind of streak wouldn’t tie you to your neighborhood or country forever. I sometimes go a couple weeks running daily, but never a long streak.

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        • Caitlin February 4, 2014, 12:17 pm

          The article talks a bit about how he has OCD – I think it’s all closely related.

          Reply
  • Kristen February 3, 2014, 3:34 pm

    I have a theory as to why there are no women in the top 50…women are smart enough to know that they need a rest day every so often. (And not that all women have babies – but any woman who has a baby is likely not going to crack that top 50 until they are past the childbearing years)

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    • Caitlin February 3, 2014, 3:35 pm

      Oh, good point!!! LOL

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    • Aerevyn February 3, 2014, 4:42 pm

      Right. Not too many women will be running in the third tri. (Imagining this now) And then once you have kids, for good or for bad, women tend to put other people’s needs before their own … so sick child, sick partner …. no run that day.

      Reply
  • Lauren @ Lettuce Eat Cake February 3, 2014, 3:36 pm

    That’s really interesting! Roni is doing a RunStreak right now. I like the idea of staying consistent with something. I think I would be motivated not to “break the streak.” Maybe something to think about when it gets warmer. Although I think I’d call even a mile continuing the streak, certainly not 8!

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    • Caitlin February 3, 2014, 3:39 pm

      Yes, I think I could physically do a mile a day for a while… barring injury… But 8 miles? HECK NO.

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  • Jessica February 3, 2014, 3:57 pm

    My longest streak was 9 days I believe. I wasn’t trying g for a streak it just happened. I also read that article. It seemed totally crazy and very cool all at the same time.

    Reply
  • Ashley @ Saving Money in your Twenties February 3, 2014, 4:32 pm

    I think my longest streak was probably like 3 days. I’m not a fan of running back to back days… I feel like it’s so much easier to get injured! But props to this guy! I’m jealous of your laying-on-the-driveway picture… there’s so much gross snow/slush on the ground up here! Not quite as fun to lay in, haha.

    Reply
  • Catherine @ A Two Storey Home February 3, 2014, 5:31 pm

    That’s crazy!! I can’t even imagine. My longest running streak was 50 days in college, and it was one of the stupidest things I’ve done. I ran a half marathon mid-March, during which I started having hip pain, ran the next day anyway, and then ran every day until I went home for the summer in early May (at which point my mom said, “Why are you limping? You’re going to the doctor.”) It was obsessive and not healthy in any way. I have been on the “don’t run on two consecutive days” plan ever since, and my body and mind are very grateful! :)

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  • Aerevyn February 3, 2014, 5:35 pm

    I think about running like that, so it’s a habit, something in your bones. That you would wake up and your body would say “Run.” That’s amazing.

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  • Melissa @ Mel's Miles February 3, 2014, 5:45 pm

    Running EIGHT miles every day is so impressive! I’ve probably only done three straight days of running because my knees do not approve of running even two days in a row.

    Reply
  • Meagan February 3, 2014, 6:24 pm

    I thought I was going to be revolted by this idea. BUT I think it’s REALLY cool. How cool would it be to be a woman on that list?! Kind of makes me want to go for it.

    Reply
  • Elizabeth @ Positive Change February 3, 2014, 7:42 pm

    That is amazing! I can’t believe he has not even touched the top 7!
    Great job on your run! My streak is probably like 9 days? I have no idea though!

    Reply
  • Sara @ LovingOnTheRun February 3, 2014, 7:59 pm

    I’d say my run streak is probably about 50 days…though I regret that since I eventually caused myself to get injured from it. Oh well :)

    Reply
  • Alli February 3, 2014, 9:29 pm

    I truly admire “streakers” as I call them :) but I know that I would get worn out physically and emotionally. Even so, I like to try and take some of their themes and apply them to my own life. As in, if I’m feeling whiny and lazy, I can channel their determination and hopefully make it to the gym myself!

    Reply
  • Liz@FitLizzy February 4, 2014, 3:39 am

    I run at least 5k a day, only taking a rest (cross-training) day every 20 or so days. Right now, I’m approaching day 30 of continuous running and I’m thinking I’ll keep going!

    Reply
  • Runner Girl Eats February 4, 2014, 6:06 am

    I tried to do the RW summer streak but my shin started to hurt after a month. I am much better with 2 running rest days a week.

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  • Stephanie @ Whole Health Dork February 4, 2014, 6:59 am

    I generally don’t run back to back days because my body is better off when I don’t, so my longest streak would be a day or two? ;-) Oh, and I’m guessing women haven’t made it into the top because they’re too busy taking care of the men! Great little story!

    Reply
  • Caitlin February 4, 2014, 8:52 am

    30 years! I have no idea what my streak would be, probably something similar to you – 3 or 4 days. MAX. I’m going to challenge myself this week and see if I can run the next four days. Thanks for sharing this story – very interesting!

    Reply
  • Lori February 4, 2014, 11:54 am

    My streak is now 35 days long. I started the first of the year. My regular run days are Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday but on Sunday, Tuesday & Thursday I’ve been doing just 1 mile or a little over to see how long I can keep it going.

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  • Army Amy February 4, 2014, 12:06 pm

    In 2012 I did the RW summer streak from Memorial Day to the 4th of July. My husband came home from deployment on the July 3rd, so it was a nice way to stay sane and active as our reunion got closer and I got more anxious. The best part was running the last day with him.

    Reply
  • Ashley M. February 4, 2014, 2:46 pm

    One of our good running buddies is actually nationally recognized as a streaker, he’s in the 230s on that list. Very cool.

    Reply
  • Allie February 5, 2014, 3:30 pm

    I was chatting about this post with my running buddy last night, and this morning I realized that so far in February, I’ve run every day (and already had another run planned for tonight). I think I’m going to try to streak this February. It’s the shortest month, so it shouldn’t be TOO hard (right?). I do have two trips planned, though – guess I’m bringing my running shoes!

    Reply
  • Thor February 6, 2014, 10:38 am

    As a Streak Runner myself of over 10 years, I can address many of the questions that came about in the comments here. But before I go there, let me say that this was a good read. I was forwarded a link to this by my sister-in-law.

    Now on to address some questions and perhaps misconceptions of Streaking…

    Most Streak Runners have a reason they streak. It’s more a psychological thing than physical even though it is physical in nature. Very few people become Streakers by saying, “Yeah, that seems like fun; I think I’ll become a Streak Runner.” Streak Runner, for most, just happens. For example, take me. I started Streak Running because as I was recovering from an accident from which I thought (and doctors agreed) I might never be able to run again, and having missed the freedom of being able to prance and play at whim, I made a promise to myself that if I ever got back to be able to run, I would run a mile a day to celebrate my health. Not all Streakers have a story that deep, but many do. The point is that most Streakers don’t come at this from an exercise point of view or anything along those lines. It’s usually deeper in meaning. And yes, many Streakers have OCD to a varying degree.

    Streakers will absolutely have runs where they just don’t feel like getting out there. They do become far fewer than non-Streakers, as for Streakers it becomes just something you do, something that is a part of your daily life, much like brushing your teeth. And so Streakers, myself included, run through sickness, injury, travels, and much, much more. I could write a book of all the ways I’ve kept my streak alive. And so the streak itself becomes the driving factor, a self motivating way to get out there. For me, it’s a celebration of my health and my sheer ability to even be able to run.

    I don’t know this Streaker, the one with the 8 mile per day same route, but I am willing to put money down that he had at least once did another route for precisely the reasons mentioned (i.e. vacation/travel, etc.). Many streakers are the same, but I think the claim can still hold because, well, he’s been at it for a long time.

    As for few woman showing up on the list, I think the reasons are two-fold (and perhaps more). The obvious reason was listed here (few women can run through pregnancy). The other is that running was far more common among MEN than women back in the 70′s and 80′s. The original running boom and those after it really helped even the numbers.

    Anyway, nice write up. I hope you find some of this useful. If you want to know more, feel free to e-mail… not sure I’ll see the responses here.

    Thor

    Reply