LANCASTER, Calif., July 23 (UPI) -- A California man said he has decided to end his 45-year streak of running at least a mile each day after reaching a total 16,437 days.
Mark Covert, 62, said Tuesday, the 45th anniversary of when his streak began, is the day he chose to round the track at Marauders Stadium in Lancaster for the last mile -- plus a little extra -- of his long streak of runs on consecutive days, the Los Angeles Daily News reported Tuesday.
"Nobody thinks they're going to run a year [consecutively], let alone 40 or 45," Covert said. "I never thought anything like this was going to happen, but I'm so thankful for all the support I've received. I never realized what an important thing this has been to so many people and what the streak has meant to them."
Covert said he decided to take the day off Wednesday due to a mid-foot collapse that has kept him from using the proper part of his foot to run.
"At five years it was a monster. I don't know what you'd call it now, but it's fun to sit back and think about all the different guys and different personalities who have passed through [during the streak]," Covert said. "I just wanted to put my shoes on every morning and go out and run. It's something I've always looked forward to. Getting to 45 years was significant to me, so that's why I'm carrying on to this point. But I'm not retiring, I'm not dying. Now I'm just going to get on my bike and ride every day."
Covert's friend Jon Sutherland, 62, said the occasion is bittersweet, as his own streak is only 307 days behind Covert's.
"I have mixed emotions about it. We've been close friends for a long time. It's bittersweet for me," said Sutherland, who said he will chase Covert's record. "I'm happy for him that he can make this decision and be at peace with it. He seems really relaxed about it."