61-year-old runner breaks world record for fastest 1,000 marathons

Steve Edwards
(Image credit: Steve Edwards / Facebook)

A 61-year-old UK runner has broken the world record for the fastest aggregate time for 1,000 marathons.

It’s a titanic feat that’s taken Gloucestershire’s Steve Edwards over 40 years to complete.

He finally claimed the record on Sunday when he ran his 1,000th marathon in Milton Keynes. Not bad considering that after he finished his first marathon at the age of 18, he originally vowed, “Never again!”

Although it’s an amazing achievement in itself, Edwards is far from the first person to  run 1,000 marathons; 50 other runners have officially completed that many marathons before. However, none of them had averaged finish time of under four hours; Edwards absolutely smashed through that barrier with an average finish time of 3hr 21min 47sec, which equates to just over 140 days of running. 

Thanking his support team, Edwards said that the Milton Keynes marathon was the “finale to what has been an incredible 43-year journey”.

He set off on his landmark 1,000 marathon with his friend and running companion, Dennis Walmsley, a former renowned marathon runner himself. Edwards was raising money for Kate's Home Nursing, a palliative nursing care charity in Gloucestershire, where his wife was part of the nursing team. So far he has raised over £10,000 for the charity.

The last few marathons for Edwards have come with an extra challenge. “I’ve had a hip injury since marathon number 996 and in any other circumstances I would have rested,” he tells BBC Gloucestershire,  “but it was just a case of keeping going," he added.”

He now plans a rest and a holiday, but he’s sure his marathon days aren’t over. “I’d like to run into old age, just for wellbeing, but maybe more for the social aspect of a marathon than to be competitive and chase my best time.”