Record runner: Woman has not missed a run in 40 years

Barbara Latta began running on Dec. 5, 1983, and has not missed a day since.

RALEIGH, N.C. — A North Carolina woman celebrated a marathon milestone on Tuesday -- she has run every day for the past 40 years.

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Barbara Latta, 82, of Raleigh, has pounded the pavement every day for the last 14,611 days, WTVD reported. She first laced up her running shoes on Dec. 5, 1983, and on Tuesday she celebrated her 40th anniversary, according to Streak Runners International.

“God has blessed me with good health, good legs and feet,” Latta told WTVD. “And, I would say it’s better to get up and move, keep moving and exercise as that it’s just you’ll feel so much better after you run, you know?

“It was just a habit I started. It was just a cold day. And, my children, I have two sons. We were sitting on the couch and I said, ‘Guys, I think we’d feel better if we get out and go run.’ And they said, ‘No,’” Latta added. “So, I thought, ‘OK, I’ll go, but I’ll make it quick.’ And I ran for the first time when I got about three or four miles when I turned around, came back and I thought, ‘Gee, I feel so good.’”

According to Streak Runners International, Latta stands second among U.S. women and has earned the website’s “legend” status. She trails only Lois Bastien, 87, of Pinellas Park, Florida. Bastien’s streak reached 15,937 days (43.63 years) as of Tuesday, the website notes.

She ranks 36th overall among U.S. runners, male or female, according to the website.

The longest active streak for a male runner is 19,917 days (54.53 years) by Jon Sutherland of Washington, Utah. Sutherland began his streak on May 26, 1969.

Latta has completed four marathons and several half-marathons, according to WTVD.

Latta said the only thing that stops her from running is when lightning is in the area. But even on those days, she said she would still run once the danger passed, the television station reported. She has run on every continent, including Antarctica, which was her “favorite place.”

To celebrate her 40-year milestone, Latta went to Shelley Lake in Raleigh before 5 a.m. to run with family and friends of the N.C. Roadrunners club, WTVD reported.

“It’s just a habit,” Latta told the television station. “I just enjoy it. I love it!”

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