A suburban Chicago man has a rather unusual routine to prepare for the Los Angeles Marathon: he has pledged to eat only McDonald's food for a month leading up to the race.
Joe D’Amico, a 36-year-old dad from Palatine who has completed 14 marathons, is set to run the March 20 race after eating only McDonald's for 30 days.
“My wife told me I was crazy,” D’Amico told the Chicago Sun-Times. “But I love McDonald’s and I love running, and this was a great way to combine the two.”
D’Amico, who has been dubbed the "McRunner," outlined his plan on his blog, aptly titled "Confessions of a Drive-Thru Runner":
I will eat only McDonald’s for 30 days and attempt a sub 2:36 at the L.A. Marathon on March 20, 2011.
The rules are simple:
1. Can eat only McDonald’s for 30 days
2. Non-McDonald’s water, PowerGel, multivitamin and ibuprofen will be allowed (c’mon, I’m a runner)
3. Run lots of miles
4. Stay married
5. Have fun
6. Donate $1 for every McRunner Facebook fan through March 20th (up to $2,500) to the Ronald McDonald House Charities and raise an additional $2,500 via https://www.firstgiving.com/fundraiser/mcrunner/lamarathon
D’Amico logs his daily meals on his blog, and is currently on Day 21 of the challenge. Despite his doctor's warnings, he told the Sun-Times he has been feeling good.
"From day one, I received such positive feedback and encouragement from friends, family and even those I never met," D’Amico said on his fundraising page. "That made me realize that I could provide more than just a little entertainment and inspiration; I could actually make a difference!"
D’Amico, who runs a 6 minute mile and logs more than 100 miles per week, told WGN Radio Thursday that he is not being paid by McDonald's, and not trying to make a political statement.
"I'm a free agent," he told the station. "I pay for all my McNuggets and all my shoes. I'm just a regular guy trying to run fast."
D’Amico told the Sun-Times he avoids eating Big Macs and won't order large fries, unlike Morgan Spurlock in "Super Size Me," whose health rapidly deteriorated on his McDonald's-only diet.
"I'm rolling along and feeling quite good," D’Amico told WGN, adding that he never counts calories. "..It helps to run that many miles, you can eat a little bit more liberally."
An average McDonald's meal day for D’Amico includes an Egg McMuffin without Canadian bacon, a grilled chicken sandwich without the mayo, a hamburger and some cookies.
The Morning Email helps you start your workday with everything you need to know: breaking news, entertainment and a dash of fun. Learn more