In 1988, Steve Edwards, from Moreton in Marsh, had a dream and embarked on a lifetime challenge to run 500 marathons in an average finish time of less than 3hrs 20min (200 minutes) and thus claim the record ‘fastest 500 marathons run by an individual’.
Since starting on this incredible journey he has set many serial marathon endurance records.
In Dec 1990, having just turned 28, he became the youngest athlete in the world to run 100 marathons.
In May 1992, less than two years later aged just 29, he passed the 200 marathon landmark, again the youngest athlete ever to do so.
It was also in 1992 that he broke the world record for running the most marathons in a one year period, a total of 87, which smashed the
previous recognised total of 74 marathons. This record all the more impressive given the quality of his finishing times which averaged an incredible 3hrs 14min, over an hour quicker than the previous record holder.
More recently, he has added yet another Guinness World record certificate
to his collection by running the fastest ever 10 marathons in 10 consecutive days at the Brathay 10in10 challenge.
To date, the 46 year old who runs for Bourton Roadrunners in Gloucestershire has so far ran 481 official marathon races in an overall average finish time of just 3hrs 17min. This equates to running
a marathon on average every 17 days for the last 21 years.
His challenge has taken him to 25 countries in all, not to mention the length and breadth of the British Isles, from the Isles of Scilly to the Outer Hebrides, some 58 counties all told.
With a personal best time of 2 hours 51 minutes, 110 sub 3:10s, 201 sub 3:15s and 418 sub 3:30s to his name, he is without doubt one of the
fastest if not the fastest athlete in the world to have run through the 400 marathon landmark.
From the start, Steve had always planned to finale this lifetime challenge in his 50th birthday year, 2012, therefore the announcement 4 years ago of the London Olympics was simply the icing on the cake.
However, over the last couple of years his progression towards the end goal has been remarkably better than expected as with 19 marathons to go, the target should be reached around April/May 2010 if no hiccups. This is great news for Steve but has left him with a bit of a dilemma.
“While a part of me feels really pleased at getting this far ahead of schedule, another part of me still wants to finish the way it was intended, in 2012 and more so now because of what that year will mean. In 1988, I set out to run the fastest 500 marathons by an individual and that is what I still aim to do. I’ve therefore redefined my goal slightly and am going to attempt 500 sub 3:30 marathons by 2012”.
For Steve. this means running another 82 sub 3:30s in less than 3 years as
he would like to run the 500th around April/May 2012 time.
For the statisticians amongst you, that’s a sub 3:30 marathon approximately every 12 -13 days until May 2012, not much margin for error then!
“You get one shot in life at something this huge” says Steve, “its not like I’m going to attempt this record again if somebody else breaks it. I therefore think I owe it to myself to continue as planned until 2012 and run the best 500 I possibly can. If I can achieve this revised goal and am able to
record 500 sub 3:30 marathons of which I hope half will actually be sub 3:15 then it will also give me a faster average finish time than the 3:17 I currently have”.
With sponsorship from Mannatech, a renowned international company who specialise in high quality natural nutritional supplements and Team Nutrition who specialise in sports hydration and recovery drinks, Steve has every chance of achieving this new target.
Miraculously, he’s currently running marathons closer to 3hrs, the sort of finish times he was running in the early 90s!
Although marathon running has been rewarding in terms of personal achievement, for Steve it’s also been a great opportunity to put something back.
Over the years, his dedication in supporting and competing in marathon races has not only helped contribute to the grass roots of the sport, but
also benefited many charities.
He is therefore keen to dedicate his lifetime 500 marathon challenge to a charity that over the last 3 years has become very close to his heart, ‘The Brathay Hall Trust’.
He hopes that his story will raise awareness and donations for the work Brathay do nationally in helping disadvantaged children and young people from all over the UK overcome extreme difficulties arising from their
very poor personal and social circumstances. He also hopes that his achievements as a non elite athlete inspire others to go out and challenge themselves, as he shows that with some dedication ordinary people can indeed accomplish extraordinary things.
In 2012, we will witness what we hope to be a successful London Olympic games, however we could also be witnessing what will quite simply be a fantastic achievement, the fastest 500 marathons run by an individual and the first person on the planet to run 500 sub 3:30 marathons.
Contact details and further information below
Email [email protected]
Telephone 07803 262190
Source: Steve Edwards