Derrick Spafford has not taken a rest day from running in more than 27 years, dating back to Dec. 25, 1989.

The Yarker, Ont. resident reached a significant run streak milestone on Saturday. The long-time coach and regular contributor for Canadian Running reached the 10,000-day mark of his run streak, which first began on Boxing Day in 1989.

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According to Streak Runners International, one must complete at least one mile for the run to be eligible. However, Spafford says that his daily requirement is 20 minutes. Throughout the year, Spafford says he averages upwards of 90 minutes per day, and some years, two hours per day.

RELATED: Longest known run streak comes to an end after 52 years.

Over the years, there have been some close calls as well as some improvisation when it comes to getting in a daily run.

“There’s been a few runs in the airport,” he says. “A run in a Belleville, Ont. parking lot was probably the strangest though. It was 11:30 p.m. and I was stuck in a snowstorm travelling home from Toronto and realized I hadn’t gotten in my run yet. Other times, I’ve been ill. It’s really about time management and being creative sometimes.”

The 51-year-old has logged each of his runs, 95 per cent of which are done on trails, in a journal. Up until 2008-2009, he kept a written journal and his log has since moved online. Spafford is an experienced racer having competed at distances ranging from 800m all the way up to 100-milers, including multiple podium finishes at the Yukon Arctic Ultra 100-Miler.

Each Christmas break, Spafford looks at his run anniversary and this year realized that the round 10,000 milestone was coming up. Of course, Spafford plans to keep on running.

Spafford still has a ways to go to reach one milestone that was set earlier this year. In January, the longest-known run streak came to an end as Ron Hill concluded his 52-year stretch without a rest day. Before falling ill, Hill, the 1970 Boston Marathon champion, had run for 19,032 days.


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