The longest run streak ever recorded came to an end on Sunday when Dr. Ron Hill treated himself to a rest day. He amassed an incredible 52 years and 39 days of consecutive runs, a feat that Hill, now 78, started during what would turn out to be an incredible career.
Hill’s streak, which has seen him cover over 160,000 miles, came to a close after he suffered chest pains during a run on Saturday. In a statement released via Streak Runners International, Hill said: "My heart started to hurt and over the last 800 metres, the problem got worse and worse.”
He added: “I thought I might die but just made it to one mile in 16 minutes and 34 seconds. There was no other option but to stop. I owed that to my wife, family and friends, plus myself."
The streak has been part of a career that has seen Hill win marathon gold medals at the European Championships in 1969 and the year after at the Commonwealth Games. He was the second ever man to break 2:10 over 26.2 miles, running a 2:09:28 in Edinburgh in 1970.
Hill has remained a visible and highly popular present on the circuit: he achieved a life-long goal of racing in 100 countries prior to his 70th birthday and has since taken part in several local races throughout the country, including helping to re-introduce the Tour of Tameside, which he first launched in the 1980s.
News of the streak coming to a close was met with floods of tributes on the Streak Runners International Facebook page, with one member commenting: “Dr. Hill is the Streaker Champion for all time. He’s the role model for all of us. I wish him good health and happiness.”