Thirty years running

I thought about following up last week’s post about the shepherds in my nativity set with a post about wise men, but there’s a wise woman I want to introduce you to today. She has traveled the world to share Christ’s truth and love with others, and her running shoes always go with her. I hope you’ll enjoy hearing her story as much as I’ve enjoyed writing it.


Barbara Latta was feeling restless on December 5, 1983. Her husband was away on an annual business trip that always took up the first two (!) weeks of December. She tried to talk her sons (a pre-teen and a teenager) into going for a walk with her. They declined, the older citing too much homework and the younger citing too much comfort to give up by going outside. So she went by herself and ran a mile and a half. It was the first step in a grand adventure.


Barbara has many medals, ribbons and trophies, but this one for her first triathlon, completed earlier this year, is one of her favorites.

I grew up calling her Mrs. Latta. She had two sons, one of whom was my age, and we went to church together. Somewhere in my adulthood, Mrs. Latta transitioned to “Barbara” for me, as we studied the Bible together and also ran local races together.

Last Thursday, Barbara reached a major running milestone. She celebrated her 30th anniversary running streak, which means she has run every day for the past 30 years. Today marks 30 years and 7 days of running. Every single day.

“You should try running.”
As with many runners, she had a mentor, the principal at the school where she worked as the librarian. Her principal was a marathoner, and this was still in the early days of running before its popularity skyrocketed. He had been telling her for some time that she should try running and was happy to hear she had run that morning. Continue reading