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19,032 days: He did daily running for 52 years

By AFP

Added 1st February 2017 01:08 PM

Hill's daily diet of running started in December 1964 and lasted 19,032 days.

British long-distance running great Ron Hill has finally taken a day off after going for a daily run for more than 52 years.

The former European and Commonwealth marathon champion, 78, finally decided to call a halt due to chest pain.

Hill's daily diet of running started in December 1964 and lasted 19,032 days.

A message on Facebook said: "The world's greatest run streaker ends his streak. Due to ill health Ron has decided to take a day off.

"Streak total: 52 years & 39 days

"Congratulations to Ron!"

The Englishman also competed at three Olympic Games and won the 1970 Boston Marathon, before launching the Ron Hill brand of sportswear, which drew on his knowledge as a textile chemist as well as the experience gained from his running career.

According to British Athletics, by 2004 he had finished 115 marathons. The last of these was in Boston in 1996 and it was the only one where he did not run under two hours, 52 minutes.

Hill said he ran his last one mile on January 28, according to Streak Runners International (SRI), the organisation that tracks international running streaks.

In a statement to SRI, Hill said: "After less than 400 metres my heart started to hurt and over the last 800 metres the problem got worse and worse.

"I thought I might I die but just made it to 1 mile in 16 minutes and 34 seconds. There was no other option but to stop. I owed that to my wife, family and friends, plus myself."

Hill, who had kept on running in spite of snapping his sternum following a car crash in 1993, won the marathon at the 1969 European championships and the Commonwealth Games event a year later.

But the Olympics proved less successful for him, with Hill 18th in the 10,000m at the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo and seventh in the same event in Mexico in 1968.

Switching to the marathon, he finished sixth at the 1972 Olympics in Munich.

 

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