PANTHER RIDGE — Twelve-year-old Jonathan Reid refuses to give in.
Even as his legs are aching and his mind tells him it’s time to stop and unwind, the Nolan Middle School sixth-grader keeps on pushing.
After all, he’s got a streak to maintain.
Jonathan has run at least 1 mile every day since Nov. 25, 2011.
“It teaches you how to use your time wisely, so you can get it done,” Jonathan says. “I want to keep it going. My goal is to get to 40 years.”
Jonathan ran his first mile when he was about 5 years old and his first 5K when he was 9 years old after watching his parents, Ed and Joni Reid, who are avid runners, enjoy competing in the sport.
One night while Jonathan was out running with his father, who has a running streak of his own — one that spans eight-and-a-half years, he came up with the idea to start running every day.
“He doesn’t remember when I didn’t run,” Ed Reid says of his son.
Jonathan began running every day, sometimes two to three times a day, and quickly developed a passion for the sport.
This fall, Jonathan ran cross-country for Nolan, where he finished second and third in two official meets.
“I just really like running,” Jonathan says. “I really like finishing because it feels so good. I don’t stop, but I always like it when you finish after a sprint.”
Jonathan has his parents to thank for introducing him to his newfound sport.
Unlike his son, Ed Reid didn’t start running until he was about 30 years old. Ed Reid was living in Sarasota at the time and picked up the sport as a way to stay in shape. He ran his first race, and, shortly after that, he was hooked.
“I just did it on a whim,” Ed Reid says. “I liked the competition. It was something new that I could work on getting better at if I chipped away at it.
“It’s just exciting,” Ed Reid says. “The whole thing is a positive experience. It feels good when you’re done. It’s worth it to me to get those endorphins flowing.”
Four years later, Ed Reid met his wife at the Gasparilla Distance Classic. Similar to her husband, Joni Reid began racing as a way to challenge herself.
“You get hooked and you keep on doing it,” Joni Reid says. “Running with people your age is challenging and exciting. You keep wanting more of the same because you get addicted to that feeling.”
Since then, the couple has been avidly involved in the Manasota Track Club and, most recently, the Lakewood Ranch Running Club.
Joni Reid continues to run three days a week with the Lakewood Ranch Running Club; Ed Reid prefers to run on his own at night.
“There’s been times when I’ve popped up out of bed and said, ‘I forgot to run my mile,’ and I’ll go run,” Ed Reid says.
Ed Reid is part of the U.S. Running Streak of America, which requires runners to run at least 1 mile a day to extend their streaks.
He runs about 15 miles a week — sometimes more if he’s getting close to a race.
He makes time for his daily runs while on family vacations — even knee surgery didn’t deter Ed Reid’s streak.
“I don’t think it defines who I am, but it’s something I’m kind of proud of,” Ed Reid says. “I want to see how long I can go, within reason, while setting a good example for my kids.”
The Reid family participated in the Suncoast Half Marathon Jan. 27, in Lakewood Ranch and is planning to run a 5K together in March.
“That’s part of the routine,” Joni Reid says. “That’s just life. Everybody has 10 minutes a day to move.”
Contact Jen Blanco at [email protected].