Local News

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

Posted December 5, 2013 6:57 p.m. EST
Updated December 6, 2013 6:14 a.m. EST

— 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.

“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.”