It doesn’t matter what the weather is.
It doesn’t matter if he’s tired, sick or sore.
Brian Breit runs every day.
Breit, 59, went for a run on Dec. 1, 2012 and has run every day since.
By Dec. 1, 2018 — the six-year anniversary of his run streak — he had logged 24,268 kilometres, which averages out to more than 11 kilometres a day.
Prior to Dec. 1, 2012, Breit ran three or four times a week, often with the Brainsport run club. When Brainsport promoted the idea of a December running streak — which encourages people to run at least one mile (1.6 kilometres) each day for a month — Breit gave it a try. And he set his own rules for how far he would go.
“My thinking was, I wasn’t going to go dress up and go outside to run just one mile every day. I mean, December can be kind of cold, so I just said I’m not going to do that. I’m just going to go out and I said I’d do a minimum of five kilometres,” Breit said. “If you’re getting all dressed up you might as well make it worthwhile.”
Breit runs his own courier business and cares for his aging father. He finds time to run “when it works out,” and does the majority of his runs in the evening. He calls himself an “unpredictable runner” and always runs different routes. He rarely uses the treadmill.
Most days, Breit runs between 13 and 15 kilometres in addition to stretching and doing core exercises.
“It hasn’t really been difficult,” he says. “I look forward to the run. I like the fact that I can get outside and run regardless of what the weather’s like. I’ve never made an excuse where it’s too cold or it’s this or it’s that. I just go do it.”
The closest Breit ever came to ending his run streak was in October 2012, 11 months after he’d started. Breit’s father had fallen and hurt his arm, so Breit took him to the Royal University Hospital. The pair were waiting in the emergency room to see a doctor as the clock ticked toward 11 p.m.
“I’m like ‘Oh, I guess this is it,’” Breit recalls. But then, a radiation technician came to take Breit’s father for x-rays and told Breit she’d be back in 20 minutes. Breit bolted out of the building and did a 20-minute run around campus.
Breit recalls shortening his run when he was sick with the flu and he has been running easy this past year as he grapples with a hamstring injury.
“It might not look pretty or anything like that, I really don’t care,” he says. “Some days it becomes more of a walk-run, but it’s still a matter of getting out there and doing it.”
Some websites, such as Streak Runner International, track runners’ streaks. Breit said he’s looked at the websites, but never been motivated to submit his data.
“I just think: Who would care about someone in Saskatoon?” he said.
If his runs were entered with Streak Runner International, his streak would rank 27th longest overall and be the seventh-longest streak in Canada.
Breit said he gets a variety of reactions to the news of his streak — some people, like his chiropractor, say he’s crazy — but the most common question is “How do you do it?”
By now, Breit has a ready response.
“It’s not hard,” he says. “If you like doing something, nothing is really that hard.”
— Andrea Hill (Editor, Brainsport Times)