Local News

After 30 years and thousands of miles, Raleigh runner not slowing down

Posted December 5, 2013
Updated December 6, 2013

— Barbara Latta celebrated a unique anniversary Thursday, marking 30 years of running every single day.

The 72-year-old Raleigh woman laced up her sneakers for her first official run Dec. 5, 1983, and hasn't missed a day since.

“It just feels wonderful. It’s unbelievable, awesome,” she said, reflecting on her track record.

Latta said she didn't start out 30 years ago with some master plan. Running just happened.

“I got in the habit after a week, and I just kept it up,” she said. “I was afraid, I think, that if I missed a day, I wouldn’t start again.”

For nearly 11,000 days straight, Latta hasn't stopped. Even on difficult days that would make anyone want to quit – including the death of her father – she kept going.

“My father was 93 years old, and he had not been doing well for the last couple of weeks,” she said. “He died during the night.”

The next morning, with little sleep and numb with grief, Latta laced up her sneakers and started her morning how she always does. Barbara Latta Raleigh runner, 72, takes victory lap

“I just kept running and running and running until I was out of tears and out of energy.”

It was the hardest run she had ever taken.

But on Thursday, Latta was surrounded by friends as she ran to celebrate an almost accidental accomplishment. She has run in all 50 states and seven continents.

“I’ve enjoyed it,” she said. “It’s just been a really fun trip.”


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  • jackaroe123 Dec 6, 2013

    I first heard of "streak running" in an espn article back in November or December of 2007. To qualify for some club, you have to run every single day w/o fail, but only a single mile per day. I thought, "One mile? I can do that," and started on December 21, 2007. I'm coming up on 6 years in a couple weeks. Since the second year, I've usually run more than a mile, but that's the minimum. I've run through a variety of injuries, sicknesses, and even a surgery. I have a long way to go to match this lady, but I suspect she takes on a similar attitude where it's basically just "run today," and the next day, "run today." It gets so you surprise yourself looking back at it all b/c the focus really is on taking it one day at a time.

    Congrats to her!

  • jessilrogers Dec 6, 2013

    I see her at lots of races and events around town always smiling. What an accomplishment! Congratulations!

  • areyououtofyourmind Dec 6, 2013

    Am I the only one that thought of Forrest Gump while reading the story?

  • changein2016please! Dec 6, 2013

    Good for her! Look how nimble she is and she has a strong stride and seems to be in very good shape for her years! Awesome!

  • EricaSliver Dec 6, 2013

    amazing inspiration!

  • the opinion no one asked for Dec 6, 2013

    still running at 72, good for her...at 36 the only thing i can still run for is the bathroom

  • Save It Dec 6, 2013

    Sounds like she's motivated by the same incentive that keeps most people involved in a physical activity going: The fear that if you stop you will lose progress and gains followed by a loss of motivation to begin again.

  • sunshine1040 Dec 6, 2013

    I am glad she had the money for all that traveling and got to see the world. Did she fly or sail to the other continents and did she take time to take in the people culture and scenery? Just asking because it is hard to run on an airplane.

  • rw74228 Dec 6, 2013

    I just felt like running

  • Mustang Dec 6, 2013

    To Dirty_Water: No; that would be the North Pole! :-)