Very people actually look forward to running; but can you imagine doing it everyday for 40 years?
Only five Americans have reached that level of galloping glory, with Joe Simpson set to join them Tuesday as the sixth member of the ultra-exclusive fitness club that has jogged at least one mile, every day, for four decades.
Simpson, a retired dentist from Memphis, Tenn., has run every day, rain or shine, snow or heat since Aug. 30, 1971. He started running to build strength in his legs after contacting polio as a teen. At age 73, the Wall Street Journal reports Simpson walks with a limp, but when he runs you can barely notice it.
Since Simpson began his streak, the mobile phone (1979) was invented along with the compact disc player (1981), camcorder (1982), World Wide Web (1989), smart phone (1993) and the iPod (2000) -- which replaced the CD player.
Their are 286 Americans signed up with the U.S. Running Streak Association who have run a mile for at least one year, but again only six who have done it for 40 years. There are more baseball players with 600 homers (8), NFL quarterbacks with 40,000+ yards passing (12) and NBA players who have played in 1,300+ games (11).
A 60-year-old track coach at Antelope Valley College named Mark Covert owns the longest streak. The Lancaster, Calif. resident has been running that magical mile-a-day since July 23, 1968.
Six members of the 40+ year running club (1 mile each day)
1. Mark Covert (age 60); Lancaster, Calif., Track Coach; July 23, 1968
2. Jon Sutherland (60); West Hills, Calif., Writer; May 26, 1969
3. Jim Pearson (67); Bellingham, Wash., Retired; February 16, 1970
4. Kenneth C. Young (69); Petrolia, Calif., Software Developer, July 6, 1970
5. Stephen W. DeBoer (56); Rochester, Minn,, Dietitian June, 7 1971
6. Jon Simpson (73); Memphis, Tenn., retired dentist, Aug. 30 1971.
DeBoer tells the Wall Street Journal that he's gone to crazy lengths to keep his streak alive. When his family went on vacation to Australia, he made sure to schedule a long enough layover in Los Angeles to squeeze in a jog along the Pacific. He was concerned about the dreaded time change.