Few men have run over 100 marathons. Fewer men have run over 500 hundred marathons. And only one man has run 500 marathons in less than three and a half hours.
Steve Edwards has been running marathons for the last 25 years and in November became the first man to run 500 sub 3 hour 30 marathons and gained the Guinness World Record for the quickest average time for the same amount of marathons.
He recalled how he got into marathons and why he has stuck with it for a quarter of a century.
He said: “My first ever race was the marathon and I’ll never forget that day. I went into to it a bit blasé and realised late on, after about 16 miles, that you had to respect that distance. If you look at the Olympic running events it is probably one of the toughest.
“I also get a lot out of it not just physically but spiritually too. I connected with it and I find running very satisfying.”
Steve was aiming to complete the feat last summer but some minor setbacks meant he had to wait until November, just before his 50th birthday, to achieve his goal.
“It was a strange feeling at the beginning of the marathon because you still have to go out and run the time,” he said.
“There was a lot of people there so you begin to feel a sense of expectation and you don’t know what could go wrong in the race, so I just tried to block it out while I was on the course and do what I normally do.
“It wasn’t until the last two or three miles that I started to think I was going to do it and it didn’t sink in until the last mile.”
Steve has run on average a marathon every 15 days but he never got carried away with the idea of completing 500 marathons with a record average speed.
He said: “I never really thought too much about it until the last three years. I would set myself shorter time frame goals that I knew I could achieve and they were the pieces which made up the jigsaw.”
And although he would like to see someone try and beat his record average time of 3 hours 15 minutes and 12 seconds, Steve does not think it will happen in the near future.
“I can’t think of anyone who is close to breaking the record. I have been in contact with a few of the marathon 100 clubs around the world and there are quite a few good runners in them, but I don’t know of anyone who is anywhere near breaking that record,” he said.
“And while I can I am going to try and keep adding to the total and see if I can bring that time down and make it three hours 14 minutes or three hours 13 minutes, but there is no pressure now.”
To find out more about the Marathon of the North visit http://www.marathonofthenorth.co.uk/.
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