John Bryant has run more than 120,000 lifetime miles (2-11-10)

John Bryant
Wimbledon, England
DOB: April 25, 1944
Advanced calculations (on the back of an envelope) convince me that I have run at least 120,000 lifetime miles, possibly more. This April 25, I will be running the London Marathon on my 66th birthday. I have a marathon best of 2:21:30.

I have long believed that the number of years you spend consistently running is the key to this esoteric (and meaningless?)  total.  I started running at 13, did a little training, and have winner's certificates from that time.  Apart from the best part of a year off when hit by a car while training, I run, and still run, everyday - that's 50 years.

For a couple of decades I clocked up an average of between 70 and 100 mpw. I am not yet back to the mileage I did from 14 to 20 - but during that period I was made captain of cross country at Oxford and could cover a mile in 4:12 - so I must have put in some mileage.  I'm averaging 35 to 40 miles a week right now.  Even if my average over those years was as low as 40mpw I will have passed the 100,000.  I suspect more. I have worn out many shoes.  My wife's patience.  And too many friends.

More important than the miles I've covered and the odd races that I've what happens when I step out the door....It's the books I have authored on the run, the newspaper pages that I've laid out (from the fall of the Berlin Wall, to Mandela's walk to freedom), the speeches I've delivered, the songs I've composed, the girls who've broken my heart, the sons who pace me many  miles, so many memories. And I get to do this everyday.  It's madness, but I can run with that..

[Editor's note: As you can easily tell from the above, John Bryant is one of the globe's most passionate, most knowledgeable and most talented runners. I had the pleasure of spending some time with him a few years back when he managed to get me entered in a xc race on Wimbledon Common, where distance races as we know them got their beginning. He was a top national newspaper editor in England for many years. Since retiring, he has had more time to devote to  his own writing, often about running. He most recently published the excellent The Marathon Makers, about the historic 1908 London Olympic Marathon (the first to be run at 26 miles, 385 yards). He has also written a history of the London Marathon.]