News: Runner tackles LA Marathon, achieves personal best after McDonald’s-only diet

One of my goals for 2011 has been to get more serious about running. I’ve got two 5ks under my


One of my goals for 2011 has been to get more serious about running. I’ve got two 5ks under my belt thus far, and I’m hoping to sneak in a few more this summer. But I find that training is the tricky part’going for a run after work instead of just collapsing on the couch with some pizza and a little NCIS takes a lot of willpower some days. Apparently I should take some lessons from runner Joe D’Amico, who, according to a report on, ran the LA Marathon in just over two hours and 39 minutes’after eating nothing but McDonald’s for 30 days. (Take that, Morgan Spurlock.)

My first question, of course: Why on earth would you want to do that to yourself? For D’Amico, who hails from Palatine, Illinois, it was more of a personal challenge than an attempt to make some kind of statement about healthy eating. He chowed down on McDonald’s during training as a way to raise money for a good cause. When all was said and done, the runner’who had completed 14 previous marathons’had raised more than $27,000 for Ronald McDonald House charities.

And what did he learn during the 30-day experiment? "If you make good choices and better choices more often than not, you’re going to have good results," D’Amico said in an interview with the Palatine Patch. "There’s diet, there’s exercise, there’s stress. There’s a lot of things. That’s something I try to tell people to keep in mind. Don’t focus on one aspect’look at things as a whole." Apart from spending time at McDonald’s, D’Amico was also running 100 miles a week leading up to his marathon. He’s no couch potato.

Setting aside the extreme nature of this specific challenge, D’Amico, dubbed the “McRunner,” is a great reminder that being fit and active doesn’t necessarily mean you don’t fall off the healthy eating wagon from time to time. "My diet is probably closer to the average American than the average marathoner," writes D’Amico on his blog, Confessions of a Drive-Thru Runner. “While I try to watch my portion size, my selections tend to be based more on convenience and taste, rather than nutritional value.

While I’m not about to suggest this diet to anyone‘let alone nosh on an order of fries before I lace up my own runners, D’Amico’s story does make me feel a little bit better about giving in to the occasional Big Mac craving. It’s all about balance, right? But 30 days of nothing but the Golden Arches? I’ll have to take a pass on that one, Joe.

Would you ever do something outrageous like this to raise money for a good cause? What do you think of D’Amico’s challenge?

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