McRunner Joe D’Amico Completes Mission to Run a McMarathon


When I think of marathon runners, I think of folks that are in shape sitting at home counting calories and maintaining a strict diet and workout routine heading up to the big day. I don’t think about McDonald’s, that’s for sure. But that’s what Joe D’Amico was thinking about. D’Amico, who says he has run 15 marathons, completed his latest one in Los Angeles while eating only meals from McDonald’s. And we’re not talking just pounding their salads for 30 days straight. He says he ate just about everything on the menu while doing three meals a day. We should mention that, while it all started out as something funny to attempt, it did end up becoming a charitable event as he raised nearly $40,000 for Ronald McDonald House. Joe D’Amico joined WSCR in Chicago with Mully and Hanley to discuss the particulars of the marathon, what he ate at McDonald’s, how he did it for three meals a day for 30 days, his typical meals, if anyone else ever considered doing it and if there was any menu item he stayed away from.

So wait, you ran the L.A. Marathon fueled only by McDonald’s?:

“That’s correct, I ate nothing but McDonald’s for 30 days going into the L.A. Marathon and ran a personal best.”

After completing 15 marathons, what is his personal best?:

“What I did in L.A. was a 2:36. I ran just under six-minute miles for the entire marathons.”

What exactly did he eat that this was accomplished?:

“I ate everything that I normally would’ve eaten. I would eat at McDonald’s probably four or five times a week before I started this diet, so my body was quite used to it. But during the 30 days, I had just about everything there. I keep the portions reasonable. I had two dozen hamburgers, a lot of chicken. I did have salads and all that stuff. I ate cookies. You name it, I ate it.”

Did he eat McDonald’s for every meal during those 30 days?:

“You betcha, yeah. I had no calories outside of that menu except for power gels. And I took a multi-vitamin and then tap water. Everything else came from the golden arches.”

So what was the typical breakfast?:

“Breakfast I do hotcakes. I get an order of hotcakes, a parfait which has got some strawberries in it. … I do an Egg McMuffin and then some OJ and that would be breakfast.”

OK, then how about lunch?:

“A couple burgers, I drank a Coke usually at lunch — you’ve got to stay awake at work, right? — and then a couple fries, some cookies. And then I’d come back that night and typically do grilled chicken at night and try to get oatmeal somewhere throughout the day because the whole grains are a big help.”

Did anyone else try this? And why McDonald’s?:

“I’ve got teammates that wouldn’t be caught in that place. They are the furthest thing from McDonald’s. But when I told them what I was doing, they were fully supportive. So this just started as a personal challenge. I wanted to do something different. When we saw the reaction, people were really positive, they got it. We were just having fun with it and that’s when we started the fundraising for Ronald McDonald House.”

Was there anything at all that he stayed away from on the menu?:

“The McRib, I’m a huge fan of the McRib and unfortunately I could not find one during the entire 30 days. We weren’t able to get that, but I didn’t stay away from anything. I think I had like 65 cookies during that time. I did a couple of Shamrock shakes during it. You’ve got to live, got to have fun with it.”

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