Man Runs 365 Marathons in One Year

Onetime asthma sufferer Stefaan Engels aimed to inspire
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Feb 7, 2011 6:37 AM CST
Belgian athlete Stefaan Engels, right, known as 'marathonman', runs his last marathon in Barcelona, Spain, Saturday, Feb. 5, 2011.   (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
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(Newser) – A Belgian runner has plowed through 365 marathons in the past year, shattering the former record of 52, the Daily Mail reports. Stefaan Engels, 49, completed his goal in Barcelona. "I 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," he explain. Engels says the key to his 9,569-mile feat was keeping a slow pace. "I recover quickly. I don't run fast and my heartbeat is slow."

His average marathon time was 4 hours, with his quickest being two hours and 56 minutes. Asthmatic as a kid, "Marathon Man" Engels was advised to avoid sports. But this isn't his first world record: Between 2007 and 2008, he ran 20 triathlons. After that, “I was not ready to go back to normal life,” he notes. “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.” Now, he says, it’s “time to give my body a rest.”

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