McCollum has run ‘around the world’ — twice
By Lynn Colburn
Keeping up with Dave McCollum is no small feat to say the least. One would have to start by running around the world twice — as that is what he has done just since he has been keeping track — and of course, he is still running.
On May 22, McCollum ran under one of the arches in downtown Jacksonville to mark his accomplishment of 49,804 miles!
An article about McCollum’s running in 2018, also written by Lynn Colburn, shared that he had logged 44,714 miles at that time, and that his goal was to run around the world or exceed that in miles twice. “That would equal 49,802 miles” he then said — double the circumference of the world.
McCollum now shares, “This all started 48 years ago, and for the first two years of my running career I never kept track of it. I didn’t know where this was going. … Then, Runner’s World, if you subscribed to the magazine, would send a daily log. So, I thought, this is kind of neat. I started by using the Runner’s World logs and then I started printing out my calendars just to start recording my mileage and recording what happened on the runs. One time I was bitten by a dog and I’ve only been bitten once in my years of running. I have a stack of books at home that I have kept track of everything.”
McCollum started running in high school, way before he began keeping his mileage. He ran with friends in The Cutting Edge running group for years until COVID-19 put a damper on things in 2020. He says that since then health issues and other things have kept them all from doing their regular runs together.
McCollum faced his own issues in 2020. “January 5, 2020, I pulled a quad muscle completely off the right knee,” he says. It happened as he was going down some stairs.
“So, I had surgery on January 30  with an excellent surgeon who was in sports medicine. He told me I wouldn’t run until September of 2020. But I went out on my birthday April 9 and ran three miles. I had a follow-up meeting with the surgeon the next week and he released me and said, ‘Nothing more I can do for you now.’”
Continues McCollum, “Then in July 2020, I was driving down the road coming back from Bloomington and I thought I had something in my eye. And it ended up being a detached retina. I waited a week before I went in because I didn’t know what it was. Never wait when it comes to your eyes. And I once again I had a wonderful surgeon who reattached the retina and the surgery also corrected the eyesight, so the one with the detached retina is now 20/30 vision so I don’t even have to wear a contact in that eye anymore.”
McCollum says with all of those issues in 2020, he only logged 328 miles for that year; for most it was a good year, but it was his lowest in his 48-year running career.
When asked if he has a regular route, McCollum says, “There are about five different routes that I do in town that I have figured out are dog free. If I can’t get outside, I don’t run. I don’t run on the treadmill.”
Running doesn’t cost much to do, says McCollum. The most important thing you need is a good pair of running shoes. He says they used to last a lot longer, but now 200-250 miles is about all he says he can get out of them before he knows he needs to change shoes. He always looks for a deal on shoes.
McCollum says he will continue to run in the Bix 7 Road Race, the 7-mile road race held the last Saturday in July in the streets of downtown Davenport, Iowa. He says he has probably done about 25 of them. Next year is the 50th anniversary of the race.
“I think running has helped me stay healthy,” says McCollum. “They have me listed as having coronary artery disease — they thought I needed stints, but got in there and didn’t put them in. They said, ‘You don’t need them.’” He has also been diagnosed with some lung issues but says running helps with those issues, too.
After 17 years with DETech, McCollum is retired from that job, but he says that it is important to keep moving, so running helps him accomplish that. He laughs about the idea of keeping moving, noting that he has a lot of jobs to do at home and for his daughter’s house, too.
Congratulations, Dave McCollum! Cheers to you on your great accomplishments in your running career, past and future. You are an inspiration to us all to keep moving!