A “Legacy Runner” is someone who has run a race every year of its existence. For example, The Los Angeles Marathon had its inaugural race back in 1986. And 32 years later there are about 150 people that have run the race each and every year without fail. My running hat is off to them.
Now some races have stretched the legacy runner definition to include people who have run a race for a certain number of years in a row. Technically, they’re referred to as “streakers”… not the naked kind… but if you run a race time and time again for numerous years, you’re a true pavement pounder and we’ll let it slide.
I bring this up because I’ve been running races since early 2009 and as a result, I’ve been both a legacy runner & a streaker for several races. But with relocating to Atlanta last summer, most of these legacies & streaks have either come to an end or been interrupted.
My longest current legacy has been for the Hollywood Half Marathon, which I’ve run every year since its inception in 2012. More on this race in a bit.
I was also a legacy runner for a pair of REVEL races… The REVEL Canyon City Half Marathon and REVEL Mt. Charleston Half Marathon. I enjoyed running Canyon City for the first three years of its existence (2014-2016). But this past November I was unable to get back to LA for the race and my legacy ended.
As for Mt. Charleston, not only is it one of the fastest full marathon courses in the US (and USATF certified) it’s a fun race… and who wouldn’t want to celebrate their bling with a weekend in Las Vegas. I ran Mt. Charleston during its first two years, but alas this year (April 28th) I’ll be traveling for business and won’t be able to run downhill toward Sin City.
As for streaking, my longest current streak was the Los Angeles Marathon, which I had run 6 consecutive years (2012-2017) and 8 of the last 9 years. The lone year I didn’t run it during that time (2011) was known as the “monsoon race” when 20,000+ racers endured an unseasonable downpour while slogging from the Stadium to the Sea. I was sad to not be running LA this year, but I didn’t sit idle, as I ran the Georgia Half Marathon on the same day. And I have a feeling I’ll be running the LA Marathon again sometime in the future.
Now a legacy usually ends when a runner can’t attend a race, but occasionally it’s the other way around. Let me ‘splain.
I mentioned earlier about the Hollywood Half Marathon as being my longest current legacy, at 6 years. Unfortunately, the Hollywood Half Marathon has run its last race (at least in its current incarnation). As a small-to-medium sized race, the Hollywood Half faced a constant uphill battle competing against bigger and better-funded races (and the struggles/costs of organizing a race in LA). It finally got to be too much and the race wasn’t “renewed” for 2018 (I figured I’d use a TV vernacular there). Granted I wouldn’t have been able to run it this year had it gone on as scheduled, but it’s still a bummer to see the race (and my legacy) come to an end. At least I have some fond memories (and bling) that I’ll continue to carry with me.
Now there are several other races that I’ve run “most of the time,” such as the Peachtree Road Race which I’ve run 6 of the last 9 years and will again in 2018, but all of my legacies and most of my streaks have unfortunately ended.
But the good thing about streaks is when one ends, you can always start a new one. My longest current race streak is the Atlanta Half Marathon (on Thanksgiving). I’ve run that race the last 3 years and I’ll be pounding the pavement again on Turkey Day to make it 4 in a row. And I’m finding some fun new races nearby that are primed to become new “streakers.”
But no matter how many races I streak, I promise to keep my clothes on. Probably.
Live the legacy… and Run on!