It was Memorial Day of 2014 when Andrea Vincent of Auburn took on the 40-day running streak challenge from Runner’s World magazine. Every day, she laced up her trainers and ran at least one mile, often more.

Andrea Vincent of Auburn crosses the finish line at the 2019 Disney Wine and Dine half marathon in Orlando. Vincent has run at least one mile every day for more than eight years. Submitted photo

But when day 40 came and went, Vincent kept on running . . . and running . . . and running. Now, more than eight years later, she has yet to miss a single day.

No matter how bad the weather is, how sick she feels, or how busy her day is, Vincent always manages to run at least one mile.

Some days, keeping her streak might mean waking up at 3 a.m. to get a run in before an early-morning flight. When the weather is particularly bad, she’s even been known to clock a mile running back and forth in her house, although less often now that she owns a treadmill.

“There just hasn’t been a reason to stop,” she said. “At the start, I kind of would look (for coincidences), like if my 40th birthday lined up with day 400, then it was a sign (to stop). (But) none of it lined up. So at this point, it’s just one day at a time.”

Vincent is one of over 4,200 “streakers” registered with Streak Runners International. According to the organization’s rules, a person must run at least one mile per day to build on their streak. Still, many streakers are avid runners who often run more than the minimum.


Vincent’s eight-year streak puts her in the upper quarter of all registered streakers, an impressive feat. But the most accomplished runners on the list measure their streaks in decades, not years.

At the top of the rankings sits Jon Sutherland, a 72-year-old writer from Utah. He began his running streak over 53 years ago in 1969, just a couple months before Neil Armstrong became the first person to walk on the moon.

While streak running is nothing new, more and more runners are taking up the challenge.

As stated in a Runner’s World article last month, “‘Run streaking’ is booming, with more and more people jumping on the bandwagon and setting themselves a daily running challenge.”

But running day after day with no breaks isn’t easy. For streakers, taking a rest day still necessitates running a mile, and for some, even more.

To keep themselves going, streakers motivate themselves by continuously setting goals. Some milestones are widely recognized by the streaking community, including comma day (1,000 days) and Forest Gump day (three years, two months, 14 days and 16 hours). But often, streakers set their own arbitrary goals to help keep them going.


Just a couple of weeks ago, Rick Blanchette of Lewiston celebrated his own comma day.

“I’ve only been running for 15 years, and this is the first time I’ve ever attempted something like this,” the 58-year-old said. “It was a huge sense of accomplishment for me just to reach that milestone.”

Rick Blanchette of Lewiston started his streak of over 1,000 consecutive days of running at least one mile when his mother passed away three years ago. “I needed something to focus on and clear my mind,” he said. Blanchette will run the Boston Marathon for his first time in April. “Boston has been a long-time goal of mine.” Daryn Slover/Sun Journal

Some days, Blanchette said it would be far easier to give in and take a day off. Lately, back pain has pushed him to consider ending his streak, even as he trains for the Boston Marathon this spring. But his chiropractor has encouraged him to keep running.

“Emotionally or mentally, it would bother me at this point if I just have to stop for some reason,” he said.

Amber Dalton of Wiscasset ran the Mount Desert Island Marathon in the pouring rain. Dalton has run at least one mile every day since 2013. In March, her streak will reach 10 years. Submitted photo

Amber Dalton of Wiscasset gets it. In just two months, she plans to reach her 10-year anniversary of streaking. But she has no plans to stop there.

“Doing 10 years is like the biggest goal that I’ve had on the books,” she said. “I know that no matter what happens after that, I have done 10 years. So if something does happen and I do get injured and I can’t keep going at that level, then at least I know that I . . . succeeded in that big goal.”


Since 2016, Dalton has run a minimum of 5 kilometers a day. Once she hits 10 years, she’ll set her sights on the next goal, perhaps the 4,000 day mark.

“You definitely have to have some sort of motivation to keep going,” she said. “You can have lots of support . . . but really, it has to be something inside of you that wants to do something big like that, because it’s a lot.”

“So many days, I’m just so tired that I literally feel like I could fall asleep and not do it,” said Dalton, who works full-time as a home health and hospice professional.

Like Vincent, Dalton knows how difficult it can be some days to get her run in. When the weather is dangerous and the power is out, she runs laps around her kitchen island.

Three laps is equivalent to about a 10th of a mile, she said; by that count, Dalton must run more than 100 laps to hit 5 kilometers, or 3.1 miles.

“You have to keep changing direction because you start to hurt on that one side, over and over,” she laughed.


Amber Dalton of Wiscasset, right, stands with two friends at the Millinocket Marathon. Submitted photo

“I don’t even know what possessed me, but I was like, ‘I’m not giving in!'” she said. “There are people out there that can’t run. . . . I was going to keep going no matter what happened.”

Alice Crawford, a streaker from Auburn, has also had her fair share of crazy runs. Once, she ran 4 miles from her home, only to find herself stuck in hurricane-force winds on North River Road.

“Metal signs were flying through the air, and I was terrified,” she said. “Trees were falling.”

But while Crawford is just as dedicated of a runner as any other streaker, she’s learned to prioritize her health over her streak. That means she has sometimes ended a streak and, after feeling better, started a new one.

Once, she did her daily run on the treadmill, despite a bad fever. In the process, she fell off the machine, threw up and vowed next time she was ill, her streak would end.

Her longest-ever streak was two days shy of two years. A couple of weeks ago, a bout of COVID-19 ended another one of her streaks on day 300.


“I’ve learned that streaking to me isn’t just about the number anymore,” Crawford said. “I run every day because I feel better when I do.”

More than a decade ago, she spent a year walking with a cane due to a herniated disc. When she finally found a doctor willing to do her surgery, she said it was like getting a second chance at life.

Alice Crawford of Auburn approaches mile 23 in the 2022 Maine Marathon. Participants ran from Portland to Yarmouth and back. Submitted photo

“Staying healthy and strong, and trying to keep my weight down is really important for me to have a good life,” she said.

Streakers insist that anyone can run a mile every day if they set their mind to it.

“It doesn’t matter how fast you are,” Blanchette said. “A mile is a mile. Whether you’re doing it at an 8-minute pace or a 12-minute pace, you’re still running a mile.”

Blanchette began running in his 40s, seeking to improve his physical health. When he first started running, he aimed to complete 5-kilometer races. Now, he can easily run 13 miles at a time.


“I’m not saying that to toot my own horn,” he explained. “But I used to be that person saying ‘I could never do that.’ But, you know, you can. You just have to set your mind to it if you really want it.”

Most anyone can run a mile every day, streakers say. The question isn’t whether someone has the ability to run, but whether they have the self-discipline to do so.

“(Streaking) makes you realize the difference between ‘I don’t want to’ and ‘I can’t,'” Crawford said.

Dalton encouraged aspiring streakers to start with the minimum one mile per day. Don’t worry about the time or pace, she said.

“Just think about the fact that you’ve accomplished something big,” she said. “If you’re moving a mile every single day, that alone in itself is more than most people do.”

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