Last updated: 06-Nov-18
By Luke Jarmey
If you think 7 marathons in 7 days is hard.. How about a marathon a day for a whole year? Meet Rob Young aka MarathonManUK who attempted his first marathon last April, and quite literally hasn’t stopped since. With a world record nearly in his grasp we catch up with Rob to find out more about his incredible challenge.
Q. Who is Rob Young (aka MarathonManUK)?
A. I’m just an ordinary guy! I started with a couple of runs and realised I was quite good so I decided to take on the ultimate challenge of running a marathon a day in order to fundraise for charities that are close to my heart – Dreams Come True, NSPCC, and Great Ormond Street. At the London Marathon I intend to break the world record for running a marathon a day for a year.
Q. Have you always been a runner or did you recently take it up?
A. In fact, I did not like running that much but did do the odd 5km race now and again but I actually thought it was incredibly boring. Now that I’m so involved I realise how big the running community is and find the sense of camaraderie is really welcoming and inspiring.
Q. What inspires you the most to run?
A. All the wonderful people I meet and the connections keep me going. There is a family-like feel even though you are competing against the next person. And of course, the knowledge that I’m helping to make a difference by fundraising for vulnerable children is invaluable and such a strong motivator on those low days. My biggest inspiration is my partner, Joanna. Day in and day out, she has been there for our children and me.
Q. Incredible stuff; tell us about it all.
A. While watching the 2014 London Marathon I was moved by the fundraising stories I heard. Inspired by these, and the fact that my partner said I was not able to run a marathon, I set out the next day to run my first one. I have always wanted to do a long event and support charities so this was my chance.
Since that first day I have run at least a marathon a day and have turned inspiration into a fundraising and world record beating ambition. My aim now is to run 367+ marathons in 365 days and I’m almost there!
Q. Which charities are you raising money for?
A. Dreams Come True, NSPCC, and Great Ormond Street. All which raise money for vulnerable children. Having had a difficult childhood with many challenges, these are charities that I feel strongly about and I hope to raise money that will see no child go through the same kind of experiences in their lives.
Q. How on earth do you fit it in with your day job?
A. A couple of months ago I decided to give up my job for the challenge and focus on it full time. As soon as I’ve completed the challenge and hit the world record I’ll be looking for a job once again.
Q. Where are you currently in the challenge?
A. After eight months of running in the UK, I decided to take my challenge to run a marathon every day over to America and take part in Race Across USA. So far I’ve run through Los Angeles, Arizona, New Mexico and am now making my way through Texas. There just were not enough Official Marathons in the UK so in order to break the record for most marathons ran in a year I felt it necessary to head to America and up my challenge.
Photo credit: Chris Winter.
Running The Width Of The States
Q. Tell us a bit about this?
A. Starting January 16, 2015, I began a journey, running 117 back-to-back marathons across the United States going through 12 states starting in California and ending in Washington, D.C. with a total of 3,080 miles. In all, I hope to complete close to 400 Marathons.
Training and Recovery
Q. Other than actually running the challenge, do you undertake any additional training?
Q. Did you have a training period leading up to April the 14th (start of the challenge)?
Q. How does your body cope with a marathon a day?
A. Running this much does strain my body and I have had a few injuries, but I’ve learned that if I don’t ignore any serious pain, get the correct treatment and take a break when I need to then I can continue with this journey without major setbacks.
Q. How tough is the mental aspect of the running and how do you cope with it?
A. While running can be very mentally tolling, the goal of my running is to create a better environment for children all over the world. This is what really drives me through each mile; thinking of them convinces me that all of the suffering is worth it.
Q. Could you give us an idea of your daily nutrition plan?
A. To be honest, in situations like this, burning so many calories at such a rampant rate, and doing it day in and day out, I just eat what I can when I can!
Q. Any ideas for future challenges?
A. I have many ideas of what I want to do after this. I’m considering bigger and bigger challenges; I want to keep pushing my limits and inspiring people. I’m open to suggestions!
Good luck and run well!
You can help Rob’s efforts by donating to the MarathonManUK here.