Steve Edwards on track to set new world record The Run Kildare Marathon on 15th May at 8.00am will be the place that Steve Edwards Marathon Man Extraordinaire will be lining up hoping to break 3hours 20 minutes as a part of his world breaking 500 marathons in sub 3hrs:20 mins. Steve Edwards is well on track to becoming the first athlete in the world to run 500 official sub 3hr 30min marathons. If successful, he will also improve on his existing record for the ‘Fastest 500 marathons ever run by an individual athlete’. The 48 year old who runs for Bourton Roadrunners in Gloucestershire has so far ran 518 official marathon races of which 445 have been completed in under 3:30. With a current average finish time of just 3:18, he’s hoping to reach the target by the time he’s 50 in the Olympic year of 2012.
His running career officially started in 1981, when at the age of 18, he ran his first ever road race, the inaugural Coventry Marathon. However it wasn’t until 1988 that he started running marathons seriously, such that in 1990, at the age of 28, he became the youngest athlete in the world to run 100 marathons. 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 record of 74 marathons. Chasing this record took him to 13 countries and his finishing times averaged an incredible 3hrs 14min, over an hour quicker than the previous record holder.
Marathon running has taken him to 27 countries in all, not to mention the length and breadth of the British Isles, from the Isles of Scilly to the Outer Hebrides, some 60 counties all told. With a personal best time of 2hrs 51min, 123 sub 3:10s and 217 sub 3:15s to his name, the statistics show that he’s not only one of the UK’s leading serial marathon runners but arguably one of the most prolific in the world.
Steve has on many occasions run marathons on consecutive days, however in May 2009, he set a new Vet Masters world best time for running 10 marathons in 10 days. His combined time of 33hrs 16min at the ‘Brathay 10 in 10 Challenge’ smashed his own world record set just 12 months earlier by well over two hours as he averaged 3hrs 19min for each marathon over the 10 consecutive days. Equally remarkable was that all 10 finish times were sub 3hrs 30min on the same Lake Windermere course, reputed to be one of the toughest UK Athletics certified marathons in Britain.
Now pause for a moment, imagine what this lifetime challenge actually entails. On top of holding down a full time job, Steve trains every day, sometimes twice a day, every week, every month, every year. Keeping himself at the peak of physical fitness such that he’s been able to run a 26.2 mile race on average every 16 days for the last 23 years in an average finish time of near to 3:15!. This is quite astonishing given the short recovery period between marathons and the opportunities for injury or even illness over such a long period of one’s life. Consider the discipline, commitment and sheer dedication that is required, little wonder that no-body so far has managed to accomplish such a feat.
In 2012, we could be witnessing what would simply be a fantastic and indeed unique achievements. The first athlete in the world to run 500 sub 3:30 marathons which would truly be the fastest 500 marathons ever run by an individual athlete!
If you want to run alongside Steve on 15th May in the full marathon or alternatively join in the event by entering the Half Marathon or the 10K visit www.kildaremarathon.ie for more details.