Phoenix man hasn't missed day of running since 1978

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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

Most athletes build rest days into their training programs, where they take a day or two off exercise. But for one Phoenix runner, that is not an option.

"The last day I didn't run was November of 1978," said Craig Davidson. "Tomorrow "I'm celebrating my 39th year of running without missing a day."

Davidson works as a sales associate at Runner's Den in Phoenix. He is also a pacer for the 2:40 group for the 3TV Phoenix 10K & Half Marathon this Sunday.

"The kids I coach at Northwest Christian, they say, 'Coach, my calf is tight, should I run today?' I say, 'Ask yourself, did Coach Davidson run today?'" he said.

What about a cold or the flu?

"Or a broken knee cap, or cracked ribs and torn hamstrings?" Davidson said. "I ran through those."

He is always logging those miles.

"About 50 miles a week," he said.

But, like anyone else, he had to start by putting one foot in front of the other.

"I started running to lose weight in 1977," Davidson said. "The first time I ran, I ran four house lengths before I had to stop."

He's come a long way. He's completed 244 marathons, and if you count ultra-marathons, the number jumps to more than 260.

But this isn't the only thing that makes Davidson unique.

On every run, he picks up cold hard money. 

"As of this morning, I have found $9,860.80 in my running career," Davidson said.

His goal is to hit $10,000 when he reaches his milestone of 40 years without missing a single day of running.

"As long as I'm enjoying running and running with people, I'm going to keep on as long as I can then," Davidson said.

Lindsey ReiserLindsey Reiser is a Scottsdale native and an award-winning multimedia journalist.

Click to learn more about Lindsey

Lindsey Reiser

Lindsey returned to the Valley in 2010 after covering border and immigration issues in El Paso, TX. While in El Paso she investigated public corruption, uncovered poor business practices, and routinely reported on the violence across the border.

Lindsey feels honored to have several awards under her belt, including a Society of Professional Journalists Mark of Excellence Award, Hearst Journalist Award, and several National Broadcast Education Association Awards.

Lindsey is a graduate of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University, and she currently serves as a mentor to journalism students. She studied for a semester in Alicante, Spain and also earned a degree in Spanish at ASU.

She is proud to serve as a member of United Blood Services’ Community Leadership Council, a volunteer advisory board for the UBS of Arizona.

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