A 49 year old Belgian runner, Stefaan Engels, somehow finished 365 marathons in 365 days and is still living to tell the story. I consider myself in “decent shape,” and about 5 years ago I actually ran the LA Marathon. It took me 4 months of training just to prepare and following the marathon I was in so much pain I didn’t jog for 4 months, true story. This feat is one which needs to be celebrated; I personally will celebrate it tonight with a few beers.
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 recover 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.”
“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.
He had some trying times along the way. He remembers thinking; ‘Today, I won’t finish,'” he said. “One of the hardest moments was in Mexico City after a long flight, the altitude and I had gotten sick from eating something, and I thought, ‘What am I doing here?’ All in all he ran a total of 9,569 miles.