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Steve Edwards Breaks World Record Finishing 1,000 Marathons In The Fastest Average Time

After 43 years, he's just the 51st person to hit 1,000 marathons, and his overall average time might be faster than your PR

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For most runners, finishing just a single marathon is a challenge in and of itself. Finish a few more, and most will see you as a marathon veteran.

But what do they call you when you’ve finished 1,000 marathons (in world record time)?

Well, in the marathon world, he’s known as ‘The Godfather.’

For over four decades, Steve Edwards from Gloucestershire, UK, has been on a mission, culminating in a monumental, almost unthinkable, achievement – completing his 1,000th marathon. 

To give you some context of just how much running that is, Edwards has, on average, run a marathon every 13 days for the last 36 years. His record for most marathons in one year (also a world record) was 87 in 1992, meaning he ran a marathon, on average, every 4.2 days in that calendar year.

It all began with a simple ‘never again’ uttered after his first marathon at the age of 18. Little did he know that, after discovering the runner’s high, those words would be the prelude to a journey spanning 43 years. 

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“I hadn’t a clue about what a marathon entailed or how to prepare,” he said to BBC.

“But I guess you could say that ignorance is bliss because I went into it open-eyed and just looking forward to it.”

On a recent Sunday, amidst the cheers of the Milton Keynes Marathon in the UK, Edwards crossed the finish line for the 1,000th time in a respectable time of 3:58, cementing his world record for completing 1,000 marathons with the fastest average time.

While only fifty others have also reached the milestone of 1,000 marathons, Edwards stands out with the fastest aggregate time. His average finish time of 3:21:57 is pretty impressive, especially considering he’s now 61 years old.

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To add to his impressive feat, Edwards has finished every single race he has entered. 

Throughout his decades of running marathons, Edwards has raised funds for Kate’s Home Nursing, a charity close to his heart. With over £10,000 raised so far, Edwards’s running has become a beacon of hope and support for those in need.

Despite battling a hip injury leading up to his final marathons, Edwards pressed on, fueled by sheer determination and the unwavering support of his loved ones. As he crossed the finish line, he began to choke up, with tears of joy and exhaustion marking the culmination of a lifelong pursuit.

“I don’t think it’s quite hit me yet what it’s going to feel like,” he said to BBC.

“Because I know the day after I’ll be thinking, ‘It’s all over’. Part of me gets emotional about it.”

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Reflecting on his journey, Edwards is quick to acknowledge the profound impact of the running community and the countless individuals who have supported him along the way. For him, his 43 years of marathon running are marked by personal growth, resilience, and forging meaningful connections.

“Personally, I want to look back and know that I achieved my potential,” he said to BBC.

“I want to be able to look in the mirror and say, ‘You gave every race your best on that particular day.‘ And hopefully, that will leave a little legacy that demonstrates that, with hard work and dedication, you can achieve your dreams.”

“I often look back and think, ‘Gosh, if I’d never run that first marathon or seen that poster, where would my life had gone?'”

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Jessy has been active her whole life, competing in cross-country, track running, and soccer throughout her undergrad. She pivoted to road cycling after completing her Bachelor of Kinesiology with Nutrition from Acadia University. Jessy is currently a professional road cyclist living and training in Spain.

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