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May 20, 2014

RUNNING SHORTS: Several local runners join the streaking movement

HUNTSVILLE — While many doctors will advise against it, some runners run every day. And, they take pride in the number of consecutive days of running they have amassed. They are streakers.

Streaking has been around for many years. In the late 1990’s, George Hancock of Pennsylvania started maintaining a national streak list. Then, in April 2001, the U. S. Running Streak Association (USRSA) was formed. They set guidelines for maintaining a streak and started publishing the national list on their web site, runeveryday.com. A run must be at least one continuous mile, unassisted. If you miss a day for any reason, the streak is over. The USRSA will not add you to the list until your streak is at least one year long.

Right now, there are 434 runners on the national list. The longest streak belongs to Jon Sutherland of California, whose streak will reach 45 years next week.

I am on my fourth streak, which began on October 19, 2009 (nearly 1,700 days ago). I had previous streaks of 600 days, 1,811 days and 2,483 days. I do not like to run and streaking is part of my motivation to run. Besides motivation, it builds muscle strength and endurance. In my opinion, running every day in whatever weather Huntsville has to offer builds resistance to illness.

Other local runners have joined the streaking movement.

Steve Bickford, 53, a Safety Officer at the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, started his streak on December 12, 2012. He set his minimum daily run distance at 3.1 miles (5K). If time permits, he runs a 10K. Bickford usually runs with his dog and reports that even his dog gets antsy for a daily run.

Donna Fabian, 39, of Point Blank, a school teacher in Onalaska, started daily running on December 24, 2012. She loves running because it is an escape from the stress of everyday life and she wants to set an example for her family and students.

Steve Allen, 42, who works as an Information Technology Professional in Huntsville, started his streak on November 30, 2013. He says that it makes running easier. “The question of whether or not to run on a particular day becomes, what time and how far will I run?”

Jose Torres, 21, of Trinity, one of the fastest runners in the area and a recent graduate of Angelina College, started his streak on December 16, 2013. He runs for a healthier life.

Dana Formon, 25, a graduate student research assistant at Sam Houston State University, began streaking on January 1, 2014. She sees streaking as a challenge. At the same time, she enjoys it and has never felt better. With a busy schedule, streaking forces her to set aside time every day to run. Besides, running is a great stress reliever.

While streaking offers a personal challenge and other benefits, you do not have to streak to enjoy the benefits of running. If you want to get started running, see your doctor first. Start with short distances and build up.

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