Moreton in Marsh based Steve Edwards’ thoughts on his build up and running again in the 10 in 10 Brathay Challenge – 10 Marathons in 10 Days! A terrific performance – very well done Steve.
“My journey for the 2009 10 in 10 Brathay Challenge started just before Christmas when I planning my training schedule for the next 4 months. It was a hectic schedule to include 10 marathons of which there was to be 2 double marathon weekends in March and April. My weekly mileage would steadily start to increase from an average of around 40 miles and peak at just over 100 miles around mid April before gradually dropping during a 2-3 week tapering period. This would total around 1400 miles in all and my aim was to run half of these miles at a fairly high tempo of at least 7 minute mile pace with the other half run at no slower than 8 minute mile pace. Overall, I averaged 40% at 6:30-7:00 min per mile, 40% at 7:00-7:30 min per mile and 20% at 7:30-8:00 min per mile, this went far better than I could have imagined.
I think this reflected in my marathon performances throughout the period as my average finish times came down from around 3:15 at the end of last year to sub 3 hours at Lochaber and London at the end of April leading up to the 10 in 10.I was aware that this amount and tempo of training would take me very close to the injury threshold, however apart from some minor niggles, I went into the challenge in pretty good shape. Although, I did annoyingly sustain a minor tear in a back muscle a week or so before going which played on my mind but didn’t seem to bother me when I ran.
So to the 10 in 10, I was aware of two, possibly three other athletes who on paper looked like providing very healthy competition and certainly good enough to challenge my world record from last year especially if the weather remained cool (last year, most of the 10 days were run in 26+ degrees!). Knowing Adam Holland from the marathon circuit, I knew he was my main threat as his finish times have always been far superior to mine but I also knew this was a completely different event, not just about producing one great marathon time, but several consistent good marathon times. I set myself 3 personal objectives.
+To break my own world record from last year and hopefully run a sub 35 hour aggregate time.
+To run what would be a unique 10 consecutive sub 3hr 30min marathons. (Had never been done at a recognised sporting event before)
+To come 1st and therefore remain world record holder.
The first day was very important, get in a good time, something to set the tone for the whole 10 days, Adam must have thought the same, we came in together in 3hs 13 min. The battle had started!
Adam soon opened up a small lead over days 2 and 3, but on day 4, I motored passed him at about 15 miles and was to finish over 10 minutes ahead, I thought this was my window of opportunity. Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be as although I continued to post relatively consistent times for the remainder of the days, Adam was to finish slightly ahead gradually adding a few minutes each day until finally he was to finish 29 minutes ahead come day 10. As a mark of respect for each other, Adam, Tim and myself agreed that if we were in sight of one another with a couple of miles to go, then we would settle on enjoying the final mile and come in together which seemed like a perfect way to end this epic 262 mile battle.
In the end, age definitely gave way to youth and in this type of event, the younger body’s ability to recover will generally prevail over one that is much older. However, although I didn’t retain the overall world record, I came away very pleased. Not only did I become one of only three athletes to have ever run 10 consecutive 3:30 marathons in a recognised sporting event and smash my own world record time from last year, I was also credited with a world best time for a Vet category athlete which is something I think I can feel proud of.
All that remains for me to say is a very big thank you to everyone that sponsored me, I raised over £1200 for Brathay this time around so am very pleased. Also a big thank you to all those that supported me including everyone at my club Bourton Roadrunners, my friends, family, work colleagues, sports masseur, everyone who helped make this another successful 10in10 event, all 15 runners, Brathay staff, Team Nutrition, Active Physio, not forgetting the many supporters and volunteers who gave up their valuable time to help out during the event. Most of all though, I would like to thank my wife Teresa, the most important half of Team Edwards for being patient and supportive throughout, without her love, support and commitment, I know I wouldn’t be able to do what I do”.
Day 1 – 3:13:44
Day 2 – 3:23:09
Day 3 – 3:26:17
Day 4 – 3:17:06
Day 5 – 3:15:23
Day 6 – 3:18:52
Day 7 – 3:18:13
Day 8 – 3:18:44
Day 9 – 3:25:03
Day 10 – 3:20:03
Athletes Make History At The 2009 Brathay 10 Marathons In 10 Days Challenge
On Sunday17th May 2009, three athletes made history after running 10 consecutive sub 3hr 30 min marathons over 10 days in what has become the UK’s ultimate endurance running event, the Brathay 10 in 10 Challenge. In doing so, they completely obliterated the world record total aggregate time of 35 hours 20 minutes set just 12 months ago at the 2008 event. Adam Holland aged 22 representing Tavistock Athletic Club finished in 1st place out of the 15 challengers and also claimed the overall world record with a total time of 32 hours 47 minutes over the 10 days.
Potentially more remarkable however were the performances of the other two athletes from Gloucestershire who finished a close 2nd and 3rd. Steve Edwards aged 46 (more than twice Adam’s age) representing Bourton Roadrunners completing the challenge for the third consecutive year finished just 29 minutes behind with a total time of 33 hours 16 minutes. This being over 2 hours quicker than his own world record time from 2008 and also good enough to be credited with a new world best in the Vet Category. Tim Charles aged 40 representing Cheltenham Harriers finished in 3rd place, just 34 minutes behind in a total time of 33 hours 22 minutes.
The fact that from two miles to go on the final day, they agreed to finish together after battling it out for the previous 260 miles says as much about the sportsmanship and sheer respect for one another as the performances themselves. Adam Holland, Steve Edwards and Tim Charles arguably deserve full recognition as do all the 15 competitors for a fantastic performance that has captured the hearts and imagination of the whole running community over the last 10 days. It was a fitting finale for those fortunate to be present at the finish line as they were treated to what can only be described as a true master class of endurance running.
10 Marathons, 10 Days, 262 miles in total.
Full Analysis Of Top 3
1st Place – Adam Holland
Total Aggregate Time – 32 hrs 47 min 3 sec
Average Marathon Time over 10 days – 3hrs 16min 42sec
Average Mile Time for 262 miles – 7 min 30 sec
2nd Place – Steve Edwards
Total Aggregate Time – 33 hrs 16 min 34 sec
Average Marathon Time over 10 days – 3hrs 19min 39sec
Average Mile Time for 262 miles – 7 min 37 sec.
3rd Place – Tim Charles
Total Aggregate Time – 33 hrs 22 min 5 sec
Average Marathon Time over 10 days – 3hrs 20min 12sec
Average Mile Time for 262 miles – 7 min 39 sec.
Source: Steve Edwards