3,650 Straight Days!
Bishopville, S.C. resident has averaged 8.38 miles per day running for 10 straight years
DARLINGTON, SC – For most people, the idea of running every day for 10 straight years seems like an insurmountable task.
Not for Bishopville, S.C. resident and Darlington Marathon participant Robbie McLendon.
This Friday, August 29, McLendon will have run every single day for 10 consecutive years, a span of 3,650 days. The avid runner has averaged 8.38 miles per day since 2004 and will have totaled over 30,607 miles of running, following the completion of his 10-year streak.
“That’s an awful lot of running shoes to go through,” the 59-year old McLendon joked. “I just enjoy running very much. In 2004, I made a decision to want to improve my health and lifestyle. Little did I know I would run for 10 straight years.”
It all began on August 29, 2004. McLendon, who weighed 242 lbs. at the time, left a hospital a few days earlier with doctors diagnosing him with Type 2 Diabetes. At that moment he decided he needed to do something different. So, he started to run. What began with a three-mile run on August 29 turned into another on August 30 and another on August 31. Before long, McLendon was running every single day with no end in sight.
Now, McLendon weighs approximately 165 lbs. He hasn’t taken insulin in years and continues to have satisfactory blood sugar levels.
“I was 49-years old and had health problems that potentially could have ended my life,” he said. “I decided at that point I needed a positive change and thought that running was the best way to get healthy. It started out as just wanting to be a healthier person, but turned into a lifestyle that I truly enjoyed. I’ve never thought of taking a day off from running to this day.”
In the 10 years since, McLendon has competed in 245 races, including 19 this year. He has completed seven marathons and over 20 half marathon events. He keeps a hand-written daily log of every run, keeping notes on his times and how he feels each day.
He continues to run despite injuries, sickness and harsh weather conditions. If the weather is too much to bear, he runs at the Hartsville Family YMCA, where he serves as a staff member.
“Congratulations to Robbie for being an inspiration in our community,” track President Chip Wile said. “To be able to run every day for 10 straight years is truly an amazing feat. We look forward to hosting him and hundreds of other runners at our Darlington Marathon event on Sept. 26-27.”
McLendon will participate in the Darlington Marathon on Saturday, Sept. 27 in the half marathon competition. He raced in the full marathon at the track Too Tough To Tame last year.
“The Darlington Marathon is a great event for our local community. In fact, it’s the only marathon event in our local area,” McLendon said. “I’m really looking forward to racing at the track and throughout the city of Darlington on Sept. 27.”
What started as a healthy lifestyle change has now turned into an inspirational story for people that are seeking ways to get their own health on track.
“I appreciate the friendships I have made through this experience,” McLendon said. “I don’t view myself as an inspiration to others. I just chose to work hard to achieve a level of health that was acceptable for me and I encourage others to do the same.”
The marathon weekend will kick off under the lights on Friday night, Sept. 26, at 7 p.m. with a 5K and 1.366-mile fun run, which encompasses one lap around the Lady in Black.
Saturday’s activities (Sept. 27) will begin at 7 a.m. ET and feature half and full marathon events, along with a marathon relay. The races start inside the iconic Darlington Raceway and make their way through the city, which features five historical districts and the beautiful Williamson Park. The event concludes at the historic start-finish line.
Registration for all events is still taking place at www.DarlingtonMarathon.com.
Area racers who participate in the Pee Dee Grand Prix will also benefit by earning seven bonus points to run the half-marathon and nine bonus points for the full marathon. Five bonus points will be awarded for each team member that runs the marathon relay. The 5K will be awarded the regular two points.
Academy Sports & Outdoor, Bojangles’, Carolina Pines Regional Medical Center, Core Power, Fitness World Gyms, Georgia-Pacific, Honda of South Carolina, Nucor Corp., Palmetto Staffing, Papa John’s, Raceway Ford & Chevrolet, Sam Carbis Solutions Group, Sonoco Products, Weaver Media and WMBF News are all current partners of the Darlington Marathon. Partnership opportunities are still available by calling Darlington Raceway Director of Corporate Partnerships Jeff Taylor at 843-395-8877.