Amazing Coventry man who has run 1,000 marathons despite vowing to quit 33 years ago

Steve Edwards finishing his 1,000th marathon - joined by son Jason and grandson Farren
-Credit: (Image: Steve Edwards)

A Coventry man has broken a Guinness World Record after running 1,000 marathons in the fastest average time. Steve Edwards from Wyken completed the feat on May 6th at the Milton Keynes marathon, being followed across the finish line by his son Jason and grandson Farren.

The 61-year-old's average time at the end of it all was 3 hours 21 minutes and 47 secs. Steve started his marathon journey when he entered the inaugural Coventry marathon in 1981 at the age of 18.

He said that afterwards he vowed “never again” - but then went on to enter another four marathons in Coventry until 1985. By 2024, he’d completed a marathon on average every 13 days for the past 36 years.

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Throughout his marathon, Steve has been racking up the accolades. In 1990, at 28 years old, he became the youngest person to run 100 marathons. Two years later, he ran the largest number of marathons in a 12 month period, crossing the line 87 times.

However, it wasn’t until 2010 that his passion for running 26 miles was taken up a gear. Through the 2010s, he ran over 400 marathons and by the time he hit his 800th, the goal of 1,000 was firmly in his sights.

By his 996th, he had sustained a painful hip injury, which meant his last four races had him battling through the pain. However, when he crossed the line in Milton Keynes this year, he said he couldn’t believe it was over.

He said: “They’re all tough events but when you're carrying an injury, that sort of distance will always find your weaknesses. It was such a mix of emotions. Relief was the first one but I broke down within half a minute, just from the joy and relief of it all.

“The day after just flew. It was gone as quick as it came. So many mixed emotions and it’s been such a long time coming."

He said the effort had been a trying one, with him running a marathon almost every weekend, but he said his wife Teresa and his family had been at his side all the way through.

He said: “We sacrificed a lot of things other families might otherwise do at the weekend like Sunday dinners or going out in the afternoon. We’d more often than not be travelling to a race, running a race, and travelling home again.

“We’d have these conversations, Teresa and I, she was adamant she didn’t want me to give up and wanted me to see this record through as much as I did. Even though it’s my name on the certificate, its really been a team effort in that respect."

Despite having 1,000 marathons under his belt, Steve is hoping for a few more: “I’d like to think there’ll be a 1,001 or maybe a 1,002. I won’t be chasing any numbers or records.

"I’d like to enjoy my running a bit more leisurely rather than piling in training sessions week in week out like I’ve been doing the past four decades."

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