Can It Be Done? ‘McRunner’ Trains for Marathon on All-McDonald’s Diet

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Back in 2004, America watched Morgan Spurlock’s health decline on the McDonald’s only diet in Super Size Me. Now, Joe D’Amico is following the same regiment. The month before he runs a marathon.

The Palatine, Ill. dad will compete in the Los Angeles Marathon on March 20 after eating only McDonald’s fast food for 30 days. The only exceptions: non-McDonald’s water, energy supplement PowerGel, multivitamin and ibuprofen.

Unlike Spurlock, he’s running 100 miles a week during his McDonald’s binge. He’s also not eating large fries or ordering Big Macs.

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D’Amico’s blogging his experience at, recording his daily consumption and exercise. As of Friday, he’s visited 20 different McDonald’s restaurants 69 times. He’s eaten 66 hotcakes, 47.5 cookies, 18 buckets of Coke, one angus burger and no McRibs. He’s run 287 miles.

On a typical day, he ate half a bagel with honey, oatmeal with no brown sugar, three hotcakes, a fruit n’ yogurt parfait and a small orange juice for breakfast. He had a grilled chicken sandwich with barbecue sauce, side salad with balsamic vinaigrette, an oatmeal raisin cookie and a chocolate chip cookie for lunch. He had two hamburgers and a bucket of Coke for dinner. He had a chocolate chip cookie, small strawberry banana smoothie and three packs of granola for snacks. This adds up to over 3170 calories, using McDonald’s provided nutrition information.

That same day, he ran nine miles, probably burning around 1000 calories.

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The race will be his 14th marathon. During his previous races, he’s followed a more traditional runner’s diet, loaded with pasta and bananas. D’Amico doesn’t expect his diet to hamper his running, hoping to beat his personal best time of two hours and 36 minutes.

While McDonald’s isn’t sponsoring his feat, he is raising money for the Ronald McDonald House, among other charities.

One would assume D’Amico is trying to make a statement through his training regiment. He views it as combining two of his greatest passions: McDonald’s and running.

“I’m not trying to prove anyone wrong or make any kind of political statement,” he told the Chicago Sun-Times. “But I’ve been eating McDonald’s since I was a kid. In a way I’ve been practicing for this my whole life.”

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