I am going to run every day for a year. There, I’ve said it. Its out in the open, I have to do it. The easiest person to break a promise to is yourself especially if you are the only one in on the promise. I will get up at 6am and go for a run, I won’t eat another biscuit, and I will cut the grass when I get home. How many times have you reneged on a promise to your self? Well, this is a promise to all of you, I will run everyday for a full year. I started on the 1st November 2015, and will continue to at least the 31st October 2016. The more observant amongst you will realize that means I will complete 366 days; just my luck to pick a leap year. 

“Why?” is the most popular question I get asked when people find out about my plans. The truth is that there isn’t a simple answer. Last month I had the privilege of meeting Ron Hill MBE. Yes, the man who put his name to those running tights which have resulted in ridicule for many a runner returning from a winter run. But did you know that he was the second person to break 2:10 for a marathon, won the Boston marathon in 1970, has competed at the Olympics twice and won gold at the European and Commonwealth games? A man with real pedigree I am sure you will agree but the thing that really catches the imagination is his world record run streak. Mr Ron Hill has run every day since December 1964. Every day for over half a century!!!

Taking inspiration from this run streak could be reason enough to start my own, if I live long enough I could even try and match the 50 years. In a way, meeting Ron Hill just gave me the vehicle for challenging myself. I needed something to push myself. I have challenged myself in the past; run a marathon (3 times), completed a triathlon (twice), learnt to slide on ice at 70mph (bobsleigh skeleton and Olympic luge), fly solo and run the longest obstacle course in the world (200+ obstacles over 20 miles), but now I needed something else. Something long term which involved a different type of challenge, one that I couldn’t get through by gritting my teeth and bearing the pain for a short period. The difference with a year long challenge is it is going to need a new kind of perseverance, a different mindset. Regardless of how I feel, I will have to drag my backside out for a run everyday regardless of the weather.

Since our daughter was born my wife and I don’t get a huge amount of time to get hot and sweaty together. We used to do it all the time whenever the mood took us. I am of course talking about running together (what else?!) and whilst this doesn’t necessarily allow us to run together, we at least have the same aim for the next 12 months and can support and encourage each other (or sit there smugly having done a morning run as the other heads out in the cold evening rain). I’ll keep you up to date with our progress and the challenges we face over the year. If you want to join us then please get in touch or use the hashtag #run366

2 thoughts on ““Just my luck to pick a leap year” – Dan’s take on our #Run366 challenge.

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