A New Kind Of Streaker

SutherlandAmericans who remember the 1970s probably remember streakers – usually students – who ran naked (without clothes) in public places as a joke or to shock (surprise and upset) people.

Today there’s a new group of streakers. At least that’s what some of them call themselves. But as far as I know, none of them has taken off their clothes to do what they do.

A streak is a period of time during which you continue to be successful or to fail. In sports you hear a lot about streaks, and there have been long ones. Cal Ripken, a well-known American baseball player, played 2,632 games without missing one. That’s an impressive streak!

From 1996 until 2007, the Caltech (California Institute of Technology) Beavers basketball team lost every game they played – 207! That’s not an impressive streak!

Jon Sutherland is one of the new breed (particular kind of person or type of thing) of streakers. He is a streak runner. To be a streak runner, you must run at least one mile (1.6 km) every day under your own power (without any mechanical help), but treadmills (a machine for walking or running in the same place) are okay.

Sutherland recently set an American record for the longest running streak. He has run every day since May 26, 1969. When the Los Angeles Times reported (told) his story, he had run every day for 45 years – that’s 16,425 consecutive (one after the other) days. During that time, he ran about 11 miles (18 km) a day – more than 190,000 miles (305,775 km).

Years ago, one of Sutherland’s friends told him that he had run every day for a year. So Sutherland decided to try it, too. The first year was “no big deal (not so important)”, he says. And pretty (very) soon one year became five, then 10, 15, and now 45 years.

Sutherland’s commitment (a promise to do something) to running have helped him continue to run in spite of (without being stopped by) 10 broken bones, including a broken hip, and arthroscopic surgery – surgery in which doctors insert very small instruments (tools) into small incisions (cuts) so there is less damage and the patient heals (becomes healthy again) faster – to both knees.

Sutherland has a simple explanation for why he runs – “I keep running because I like it. The first thing I think about when I get up every morning is, ‘Where are me and Puck (his dog) going to go? Where are we going to run today?” Sutherland is retired (doesn’t work) now, and he plans to run as long as he can, though he doesn’t run as far every day as he used to. “As long as I’m healthy, I’m going to keep going,” he says. “I’m addicted (not able to stop) to running. It’s all I do.”

The United States Running Streak Association (USRSA) – which was started in 2000 – says that there were 86 streak runners in the U.S. in 2002 and more than 430 in March 2014.

If you’d like to read stories of other streak runners, look at The People Who Can’t Not Run. And if you’d like to hear Jon Sutherland tell his story, watch this short video from the Los Angeles Times.

Are you working on any kind of streak – it doesn’t have to be running?

Since I read Jon Sutherland’s story, I’ve been pushing (strongly encouraging) my students to become streak readers – to read every day, without missing a day – to improve their English.

~ Warren Ediger – ESL coach/tutor and creator of the Successful English web site.

Photo of Jon Sutherland and Puck is a screenshot from the YouTube video by Los Angeles Times.

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13 Responses to A New Kind Of Streaker

  1. Aécio Flávio Perim says:

    My spirit is on the World Cup. The first game we win. Now we wait the second competitor. Piece of cake.

  2. Dan says:

    Thanks Warren.

    I am trying to follow your advice, and between the things I am reading, as you can see, there are your posts.

    As a runner myself (more in the past), I kind of understand Mr.Sutherland. And this piece makes me think of how easily we often become addicted to activities.

    Common sense is suggesting me that what Mr.Sutherland is doing is too much, extreme, excessive. I mean, if you load so much on your knees you are going to damage those.

    And apparently that is exactly what happened to the streaker. I do not what that for my knees.

    Again, I understand him because when I was running more, sometimes at the end and soon after for a while, I felt great, and I remember often thinking “wow! this is better than sex”

    The explanation I give myself for that is that when we run our body makes chemicals and the result of that is that I felt relaxed and euphoric/high at the same time.
    And that create an addiction.

    At the moment I am more for walking our beautiful mountains over here. Really amazing places, where rocks, vegetation and animals create a great scenery. Really really great. I love it.

    Something fascinating one can see right now that the temperatures are up, is this lovely predatory birds, kind of hawk/falcon going up and up without flapping their wing once.

    As they find hot air going up they circle in it like riding an invisible elevator and go really up high. And getting to the top one can even hear their sounds.

    Thanks bye

  3. Dan says:

    Sorry! I forgot to mention Puck, Mr.Sutherland’s dog streak runner. Isn’t it beautiful.

  4. Dan says:

    I am not sure whether I working any streak or not.
    There would be something, but it is too personal and not something you want to write down on a public blog.
    Thank you warren

  5. MMC says:

    Hi every one! Some years ago I was running 8 Km. every day for
    almost 5 years, but no anymore.
    Nowadays I practice another type of exercise call tae-bo, but not every day.


  6. MMC says:

    Tomorrow(April, 15) will be Cuca’s birthday (Emiliano’s wife)

    Happy birthday dear Cuca, I wish you a great day!

  7. emiliano says:

    Thank you so much dear MMC, it is nice that you remember her
    birthday, Cuca says to you GRACIAS GRACIAS.


  8. emiliano says:

    My dear MMC, you have been the first person to congratulate Cuca on her birthday.
    She, and me, were absolutely surprised when I read your nice wishes, and now
    Cuca wants to know something about so kind person like you that have remembered
    her birthday, just a mistery for her, even for me, how did you know it.

    Please would you be so kind as saying us where are you from, sorry I could not remember,
    and how did you know her birthday date?.
    Again a nice kind surprise for my dear Cuca also for me dear MMC, thank you so much
    in the name of Cuca that needs so much love and nice surprises like this one of you.


  9. Tania says:

    Hi! A new word to me “streak”.
    And I mixed it up with the word “strike”, to be on strike.
    According to my dictionary, “streak”…a lot of meanings: streak of lightning, a winning streak…
    I like this phrase: a streak of irony.
    I’ve never heard about this sport “streak runner”.
    I agree with your mentioned article “The People Who Can’t Not Run”. Interesting and its title.
    I had to stay to think about its meaning.
    Practicing any kind of sport we can lose weight, our blood pressure goes down, and we can get more energy.
    We can forget many annoying things from our life, and then relaxed, euphoric, we can go back and focus on our family.

  10. Tania says:

    Hi! “Some experts say it’s not healthy to exaggerate .
    The body needs a day off to recover.”
    I agree with this idea. We need at least a day off to recover after too much sport, too much computer…
    But I’d like to be a streak reader , to read something in English every day.

  11. Fardowsa Dayib says:

    I have several of streaks that I like to accomplish everyday but fail to do them consecutively. Before I started my summer break back in May of this year my streak was to read and write until August before fall semester begin. However, I am struggling to achieve constantly these streaks I planned long time ago. Reading your post realized me that I have a problem for having reliable streaks and it also motivated me to take action to have plans that could help me fulfilled. I suspected to start my streaks as soon as possible by starting weekly plan and check them off as I attained them. I learned that many people struggle when they doing something for the first time but can have an impact on their life and be rewarding, as long they don’t quit too soon. I am hoping to get start my streaks and hopefully to continue as a habit for the rest of my life.

  12. Ada says:

    I’m a streak reader, specially reading English that’s my favorite, I just enjoy it so much, I love it.

  13. Reedam says:

    Hi, I am streak listener of esl podcast and cafes.

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