While most of us are celebrating the last day of the new year, or, begrudgingly, working, 76-year-old Ron Hill will be running the 160,000th mile of his running streak.
The former Olympian recently celebrated the 50th anniversary of his running streak this past Saturday, giving him the longest running streak in history, according to Runner’s World. To celebrate the occasion the Lancashire, England native ran the Heaton Park parkrun in Manchester, putting him at a total of 134,531.5 miles in 18,263 days throughout his streak.
Hill began tracking his miles after a disappointing performance at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, where he finished 19th in the marathon and 18th in the 10,000 meter run. From that point on, he stopped taking days off and upped his mileage.
Ever since then Hill has kept up his promise, running at least one mile a day every day from that point on, even when various injuries threatened to ruin his streak. After breaking his sternum in a serious car crash, Hill still ran one mile the next day. That same year he also had bunion surgery, but continued to run with walking canes regardless.
“I hope to live to 100 years and still be running,” Hill told Runner’s World, and his chances are good thanks to his enduring determination. New research has revealed that older adults who run for exercise can actually slow down the effects of aging.
A team of researchers from the University of Colorado-Boulder and Humboldt State University observed different physical measurements in two groups of adults ages 69 and older: one group that ran regularly for exercise and one group that walked regularly for exercise. The results showed that the group of runners more effectively delayed signs of aging than either walkers or those with a sedentary lifestyle, according to Senior Housing News.
“The simple act of running has many health benefits for people of all ages, both physical and mental benefits,” says Ryan Lynn, Director of Marketing, Gone for a Run. “It’s for this reason that we at goneforarun.com celebrate the sport of running, an activity that can truly improve and extend your life.”
While they may not be able to beat his record, older adults can still mitigate the effects of old age by following in Hill’s footsteps.