Marathon effort sets world record

Martin Hookway, Ian Bullass, Steve Durdy and Sally Wheelhouse taking part in the non-stop marathon world record.
Martin Hookway, Ian Bullass, Steve Durdy and Sally Wheelhouse taking part in the non-stop marathon world record.
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A GROUP of adrenalin-mad runners have smashed their way into the record books for the most non-stop marathons ever.

Martin Hookway, Ian Bullass, Sally Wheelhouse and Steve Durdy took part in the national RelayGB event, which raised £30,000 for charity Brain Tumour UK.

The gruelling challenge saw 400 runners run over 2,600 miles in 100 back-to-back marathons around the country with participants including former London marathon winner Mike Gratton and legendary runner Liz McColgan.

Martin, 32, of Bloomhill Close, Moorends, spotted the challenge on social networking site Twitter and signed up - but he ended up both running and stepping in at the last minute as support crew.

In the experience-of-a-lifetime, the dad-of-four clocked up 124 miles in 18 days, with the sections he ran taking in the south coast, the foggy Brecon Beacons and the Scottish Lochs.

He said: “The majority of these miles I ran were in the early hours of the morning in pouring rain and howling winds but every mile felt great!”

The runners broke the world record - previously held at 1,923 miles - near St Andrew’s but they were determined to reach their target and they did so with a lap of honour when the relay baton returned to Wandsworth Park, London.

He added: “Traffic stopped, people stopped to watch as we ran a lap of honour around the park to crowds of people applauding over the finish line.

“We arrived to We are the Champions. We were very proud, very emotional and very tired - we had done it!”

Relay GB organiser John Stamford said: “The support crew were magnificent keeping us on course and safe - Martin getting out of the van out to run alongside a struggling runner was real teamwork.

“This event is all about a team of runners coming together across the country and it was a stoic effort from runners, supporters and support crew alike.”

Martin, who is no stranger to gruelling challenges having previously cycled 300 miles in three days, is already looking to the next challenge, with talk of a possible European challenge in the pipeline for next year.

He added: “It was a fantastic experience taking part and I got to know some really great people. The money raised is the all important thing though.”

People can still show their support to RelayGB by either texting TBOB50 £(amount) to 70070, or visiting www.justgiving.com/TEAMBOB-MarathonRelayGB.