Sunday, February 6, 2011
Most marathons run on consecutive days: Stefaan Engels sets world record
BARCELONA, Spain -- Belgian runner Stefaan Engels, 49, dubbed the "Marathon Man," ran a total of 9,569 miles after crossing the finish line of his 365th consecutive marathon - setting the new world record for theMost marathons run on consecutive days (male). Photo: Belgian athlete Stefaan Engels, known as 'Marathon Man', reacts as he finishes his last marathon in Barcelona, Spain - setting the new world record for the Most marathons run on consecutive days. Photos: AP /Manu Fernandez (enlarge photo)
The previous Guinness world record for the most marathons run on consecutive days is 52 and was achieved by Akinori Kusuda (Japan) on the Besshonuma Park Jogging Course, Saitama, Japan, from 30 January to 22 March 2009.
Guinness World Records also recognized the Oldest person to complete a marathon (female): Jenny Wood-Allen (b. 1911) from Dundee, completed the 2002 London Marathon and said to be her last aged 90 years 145 days in 11 hr 34 min on 14 April 2002.
Another related Guinness World Records listing is for the most money raised for charity by an individual marathon runner is £1,841,138 (US$3,669,325) and was set by Steve Chalke (UK) who raised the money for Oasis UK by completing the Flora London Marathon, London, UK.
Stefaan Engels, dubbed the "Marathon Man," began the extreme physical challenge a year ago in Barcelona. He competed a race a day in seven countries: Spain, Portugal, Belgium, Canada, Mexico, the U.K. and the U.S.
He said the key was a slow pace over the 26.2-miles. Engels averaged around 4 hours to complete a marathon. He said his best time was 2 hours and 56 minutes.
"He ran every race, he never walked. He ran at a rate of 10 kilometers per hour," said Angels Garriga, the spokeswoman of Engels sponsor, the diet-control company Pronokal. Photo: Belgian athlete Stefaan Engels, right, known as 'marathonman', runs his last marathon in Barcelona, Spain. He invites everyone to run with him.
AP Photo/Manu Fernandez
Engels had asthma as a youngster and doctors told him he should not participate in sports. But he decided to overcome his ailment and ran his first marathon at 25. He said his latest feat is the result of 35 years of exercise.
Engels adds another entry into the Guinness Book of World Records. His 20 Iron Man triathlons in a single year earned the record in 2008.
Engels told The Associated Press that he did it as a personal challenge and to be an example for others.
"After running 20 triathlons in one year, I was not ready to go back to normal life," he said. "I also wanted to inspire people by showing that if I could run a marathon a day for an entire year, that anyone could run or bike a little each day or do something about their weight problem."
"I recovery quickly. I don't run fast and my heartbeat is slow, below 100 if I run 10 kilometers, but it is more a mental story," he said. "The problem was thinking about running a marathon every day. I just told myself to run that day and did not think about the next day or next week."
As for what is next, Engels said he will focus on writing a book, coaching and giving lectures.
"I don't regard my marathon year as torture. It is more like a regular job," Engels, who began running marathons 20 years ago, said on his website.