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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 has 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.”
Sunday Mar. 3, 2019: Brainsport Brainfreeze
Brainsport’s Brainfreeze is a winter run that raises money for the University of Saskatchewan cross country team. Enjoy the snow-coated scenery as you choose from a five-kilometre, 10-kilometre or half marathon distance along the beautiful South Saskatchewan River. Register now.
Sunday May 5, 2019: Saskatoon Police Service Foundation Half Marathon
Featuring 21-kilometre,10-kilometre and five-kilometre routes, this annual event raises money for various Saskatoon charities. Register now.
Saturday May 11, 2019: Step Up for Mental Health
This inaugural race hosted by Cameco offers five- and 10-kilometre run and walk distances. Cameco is matching every dollar from entry fees to fund local mental health projects. Register now.
Saturday May 11, 2019: Royal Road Race (Regina)
The ninth-annual Royal Road Race, hosted by the Jaleta Pacers and the RCMP is once again being held on Mother’s Day weekend. Since it began, this race has contributed over $161,549 to local charities. Held on the RCMP Training Academy grounds in Regina, this fast course has something for everyone with five-kilometre and 10-kilometre races, a five-kilometre walk, a five-kilometre wheelchair and a one-kilometre Mini-Mountie run for children. This race sells out fast so make sure to register soon. Register by Mon. Feb. 11 at 11:59 p.m. to be entered into a draw to win a pair of Hillberg & Berk sparkle ball earrings. Prices increase Mar. 31.
Sunday May 26, 2019: Saskatchewan Marathon
The Saskatchewan Marathon is the oldest marathon in Saskatchewan. The event is organized and produced by the Saskatoon Road Runners Association. The 2019 Saskatchewan Marathon features Craven SPORT services five-kilometre, Goodlife Fitness 10-kilometre, half-marathon and marathon event distances along a scenic course highlighting the world-renowned Meewasin Valley. Easily deemed one of the most scenic running events in Canada, the Saskatchewan Marathon is also a qualifier for the Boston Marathon. Sign up today. Prices increase Mar. 1.
NEW: Sunday June 2, 2019: RunRegina First Responders Run (Regina)
Featuring five- and 15-kilometre distances, the inaugural event supports first responders and mental health initiatives for first responders. Register now.
NEW: Friday Sept. 6 — Sun. Sept. 8: GMS Queen City Marathon (Regina)
Saskatchewan's largest road-racing festival features three days of races from Friday to Sunday. There are mini marathons ranging in distance from one- to three-kilometres for kids and distances from the five-kilometre to the marathon for runners of all ages. This registration link will go live Feb. 1 at 12 p.m.
Courses and programs
Brainsport Running Academy: Full Marathon and Half Marathon Clinic
This clinic, coached by Pat Somerville, is ideal for less experienced runners or those looking to improve their previous half or full marathon times. It is recommended you be able to run 40 minutes consecutively before joining this clinic. The clinic runs Monday evenings from Brainsport starting at 6 p.m. It runs from Jan. 21 to May 20 and will prepare runners for the 2019 Saskatchewan Marathon on May 26. In addition to weekly coached runs, there will be informational sessions on topics such as injury prevention, core stability, running technique, nutrition, yoga for runners, and more. Register online now.
Transition Sport and Fitness Triathlon Training Group
Virtual Cycle Sundays and Virtual Pilates Mondays
Breathe Move Be Yoga for Athletes
Saskatoon Road Runners Association Matching Donations to Improve Shakespeare on the Saskatchewan Site
Until Jan. 31, The Saskatoon Road Runners Association will match donations up to $50,000 to improve the Shakespeare on the Saskatchewan site and adjacent trails. Donate and learn more about the project through the Shakespeare on the Saskatchewan website.
Saskatchewan Marathon Seeking Pace Bunnies
Product of the Week
New Balance 1080 Running Shoes
Brian Breit is tough on shoes and goes through multiple pairs a year. He says he particularly enjoys New Balance and Saucony shoes, with the New Balance 1080 being his favourite go-to runner. (Photo: www.NewBalance.ca)