January 17 2018
Renee DeMarsh thrives on extreme physical challenges. She'll soon participate in the 2018 World Marathon Challenge.
I’ve been called crazy for running every day. And who knows? With my running streak hitting 32 years this December, people could be right.
But the thing is, there are others like me—62, in fact, who are listed on the United States Running Streak Association registry as running every day for 30 years or more. Within this exclusive club there is an even more elite group: women. Only four of us, including myself, have reached this three decade milestone. The next female “streaker” will reach the quarter century mark in about a year, and then there is a two-year gap until the next woman does the same thing.
Why so few women, and why run every day, anyway? The answers reflect a stark change in the way women in athletics were viewed not long ago, and the differences between why people ran then, and why they do now.
I have the third-longest streak for women in the U.S., with a streak defined as running at least one mile within each calendar day. Lois Bastien of Florida, who is 79, has run everyday for 36.5 years, while 75-year-old Barbara Latta of North Carolina will notch 33 years in December. Virginia resident Judy Mick, 58, will tally 31 years in November. I am the baby of the bunch at 49 years old, having begun my running streak as a 17-year-old, while a senior in high school.
Latta, Mick and myself all had different paths in our unique running journey.