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.
To track the McRunner's progress (and help him raise money for charity), follow him on Twitter and Facebook. To help D'Amico raise money for the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana, go here.