Harley Swan '06 Reaches 10-year Running Streak

01-29-2015

In the winter of 2005, Virginia Wesleyan junior Harley Swan ’06 laced up her sneakers for her usual morning run with the VWC Cross Country Team. She did the same thing the next day. And the next. And the next. Ten years—or exactly 3,652 days—later, she’s still running. Jan. 29 marks her decade-long running streak, an achievement she says began accidentally. Flipping through her running journal, Swan realized one day that she’d unintentionally run 23 days in a row. When she told VWC coach Mat Littleton, she learned that he’d once had a streak of his own, running 900 days before stopping due to an injury. In a recent Facebook post, Swan recalled her reaction, writing: “I was blown away! I didn't know streak running was a thing!” (An official streak consists of running at least one mile every day, according to the United States Running Streak Association.) Swan’s story is an inspiration to many and is legendary within the VWC Cross Country/Track and Field program. As a freshman, she struggled to finish races without walking. But as her athletic career progressed, she lowered her 5K personal record by more than 15 minutes, brought down her one mile personal record by nearly five minutes, and became a two-time team captain. “Her improvement, her commitment, and her dedication inspired everybody around her,” says Littleton. “You couldn’t have been on the team at that time and not be inspired by her. I don’t know if I’ll ever coach another person who maximizes their natural ability as much as she did.” Swan earned her bachelor’s in recreation and leisure studies and a master’s in education. She now specializes in special education at an elementary school level. View Photo