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LOCAL FOCUS


BEYOND HUMAN ENDURANCE


SHEEN RESIDENT ROB YOUNG IS AIMING TO RUN 367 MARATHONS IN A YEAR. KATE MIRANDA MEETS MARATHON MAN


Rob Young is a medical miracle. The Institute of Sport Exercise and Health has declared him a person of scientific interest. He is pushing his body beyond all the known limits of human endurance. He is a hero in the marathon world, an elite athlete, an extraordinary man and an inspiration to men, women and children throughout the world. Since 14 April 2014, he has completed more than 250 marathons – 28 of them ultra marathons. Rob is on a quest to break the Guinness world record for the number of marathons run in one year. He is Marathon Man UK.


The thirty-two-year-old father of two from East Sheen is running a marathon a day for a year. Most mornings he rises at 4am and begins running at 5am. When he is not running in an organised marathon, he completes his runs either at Richmond Park or the Thames Meander from Putney to Kingston. On the day I met Rob, it was a very cold and wet 6 degrees Celsius. He had risen at 4am and run 26.2 miles (42.195km) in the dark, cold rain.


Testing at the Institute of Sports Exercise


12 . January 2015 . timeandleisure.co.uk


As I arrive at his house, he is just putting his two-year-old son to bed for a nap.


We settle on the couch and as he shares his extraordinary story – the most astonishing thing is that he honestly believes anyone could do it. ‘Before I started this, I hated running. I had never run a marathon. Not one. On the thirteenth of April this year I was watching the London Marathon on TV and was so moved by the charity fundraising I saw that I made a decision to run a marathon. The next day I completed my first marathon – and kept going. My first goal was 50 marathons in 50 days and when I achieved that I knew bigger records were attainable. The official Guinness world record for the number of official marathon races completed in one year is 239 and the unofficial record is 366 marathons.’


Although it has not yet been officially assessed, Rob has already beaten the existing official Guinness record – but he is running on. Rob is also aiming to raise a total of £200,000 for three charities supporting vulnerable children – the NSPCC, Great Ormond Street Hospital and Dreams Come True. ‘This is because of the sort of abusive childhood I had,’ Rob tells me. Rob, his sister and his mother suffered terrible


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