78-year-old Ron Hill from Accrington, England, ran at least one mile every day for 52 years and 39 days, the longest running streak ever. The streak started Dec. 20, 1964 and came to an end last Sunday due to heart problems. Hill reported feeling pain in his chest 400 meters into a run, and after one mile, he thought he was going to die. Out of respect to his family, he decided to stop his streak and take a day of recovery.
Ron Hill has run through many injuries and setbacks over the decades. In 1993 Hill broke his sternum in a car accident and managed to run the next day. In another instance Hill had bunion surgery and ran a mile in a cast with walking canes around his local track everyday for a week.
Hill had a very successful running career in his younger days, competing in the 1964, 1968, and 1972 Olympics, a course record of 2:10:30 at the Boston Marathon in 1970, and he held world records in the 10 mile, 15 mile, and 25 kilometer road races. Outside of his running career, Hill created Ron Hill Sports, a brand that revolutionized fabrics in athletic clothing.
The next longest streak after Hill is 66-year-old California runner John Sutherland, who has run every day since May of 1969—that’s 17,420 consecutive days.