Steve Edwards – An Ordinary Guy
On Sunday 11th November 2012, Steve Edwards was crowned 'The Godfather of marathon running' when he completed the finale of a 24 year journey to become the first person in the world to run 500 official marathon distance races all inside 3hrs 30min. This unique achievement earned him a world record for 'Running 500 marathons in the fastest average finish time', a record which he has since replicated for both 600 and 700 marathons. However, with a lifetime total of 756 official marathon races run in an average finish time of 3hrs 17min (at the time of writing), the 54 year old British runner and member of the UK 100 marathon club is hoping to establish what many in the sport consider to be the ultimate record of 1000 marathons whilst maintaining an average finish time of sub 3:20.
Steve’s running career started back in 1981 when at the age of 18 he ran his first ever road race, the inaugural Coventry Marathon. Although vowing ‘never again’, the seed had been sown. A few years later and realising he was never going to be the world’s fastest single marathon runner, he embarked on a mission to become one of the world’s most successful multi marathon runners. His first world record came in 1990, when aged just 28, he became the youngest person in the world at the time to run 100 official marathon races. Nearly 18 months later, aged 29, he passed the 200 marathon landmark, again the youngest athlete at the time to do so. It was also in 1992 that he broke the world record for running the most official marathon races in a one year period with a total of 87, smashing the previous total of 74. Chasing this record took him to 13 countries and his finish times averaged 3hrs 14min, over an hour quicker than the previous record holder.
Steve has on many occasions run marathons on consecutive days, however in May 2009, he set a new Vet age category record for running 10 marathon races in 10 days. His combined time of 33hrs 16min at the 'Brathay 10 in 10 Challenge' smashed his own 10in10 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. All 10 finish times were inside 3hrs 30min on the same Lake Windermere course, reputed to be one of the toughest UKA certified marathons in Britain. Steve has completed this gruelling challenge on 4 occasions.
And what about those stats, marathon running has now taken Steve to 34 countries, not to mention the length and breadth of the UK, from the Isles of Scilly to the Outer Hebrides, over 60 UK counties all told. He’s averaged 3hrs 12min for his fastest 500 marathons, 3hrs 14min for his fastest 600 marathons and 3hrs 16min for his fastest 700 marathons, all of which are world bests. His stats also show that he’s run 316 sub 3:15s, the most by any British athlete and 678 sub 3:30s, the most by anybody in the world.
“I'm just an ordinary guy chasing my dreams. The personal achievement feels good, but the greater reward comes from putting something back and raising money for various charities over the years. Most of all though, I love inspiring others to realize that through hard work and dedication, anything is possible.” On top of holding down a full time job, Steve trains twice most days, every week, every month, every year - a necessity to keeping himself at the peak of physical fitness such that he's been able to run a 26.2 mile race on average every 13 days for over 28 years in an average finish time of just over 3¼ hours.
For Steve, the journey continues, hopefully 800 marathons by October 2017. Beyond that, is 1000 marathons averaging sub 3:20 possible? The dream lives on for now!
Steve’s biography, ‘The Man Inside The Machine’ is now available.
You can also follow Steve on Twitter - teamedwars700
- Steve Edwards-