Memphian has run a mile every day for over 40 years - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Memphian has run a mile every day for over 40 years

(WMC-TV) - One would never know that Dr. Jon Simpson, a mild-mannered man, once spent time in Le Bonheur Children's Hospital with a crippling disease. 

Taking each day, one step at a time, Simpson makes it tough for anyone to walk a miles in his shoes.

Endurance, discipline and tenacity are all modest words to describe a man who has run at least one mile everyday for four decades.

"I started running because I had Polio when I was in high school. I was on crutches. As I grew older I realized I was going to have to strengthen my right leg" said Simpson.

A retired Memphis dentist, at age 73, Simpson recently made national headlines for his achievements as a streak runner.

"The streak means that everyone in the organization has run a least a mile everyday without missing for a years period of time" explained Simpson.

He starts his day like most runners with warm-ups, a series he calls "gut buster exercises".

Simpson has lived in the same home for 46 years and has started his morning jog in a wooded area behind his home for 40 of those years.

He said he does not get a running start without his wife, Caroline.

"She's not a runner herself but she always encourages me" said Simpson.

In a grassy patch near the University of Memphis, Simpson runs, or more fittingly, steadily steps each mile into the record books.

"I've never even run a 5K" said Simpson.

"We have some wonderful runners in this city like Mike Cody and Joe Birch and many of the ones who are the true runners here in Memphis, but I'm just glad that the tents big enough for me to be included in that" he added.

It was August 30, 1971 when Dr. Simpson started his journey.

According to the U.S. Running Streak Association, in 2011 Simpson was only the 6th person in the country to ever run a mile everyday for 14,612 days.

He said his only concern now is, "whether I wants to keep running another 40 years".

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