‘The Man Inside the Machine’ Steve Edwards reached a key milestone on his journey to 1,000 marathons and a new world record when he completed his 900th marathon in challenging conditions at the Phoenix Running 100 Club Handicap on Saturday (22 February).
Edwards continued his marathon mission with another impressive result at an event with an interesting handicap race format that used a staggered start based upon an average of runner's last three marathon finish times. The timed event involved the completion of 3.28 mile (5.3km) laps along the River Thames within a 7 hour limit with the option to do as many or as few laps as desired.
The multi-lap action kicked off at 8am as they ran out and back laps on flat trail and waterside towpath although there was a fearsome tailwind on the out section. Maintaining a consistent pace was difficult due to the gusts. Edwards faced a further challenge when he took a tumble at 25 miles however he soon regained his equilibrium and pushed on to the finish.
In the marathon, Steve Edwards finished in 3:44:10 and was 11th overall out of 167. More importantly, he is the first person to run sub 3 hours 20 minutes for 900 marathons with an average finish time of 3:19:20.
In a nice bit of symmetry other notable results included Allan Green completing his 600th marathon in 5:16:20 and Vanessa Brewster her 300th marathon in 5:54:10.
Steve Edwards thanked the organisers, sponsors and everyone who has supported him, reserving a special ‘thank you’ for his wife Teresa who is always by his side. Steve dedicated his 900th marathon to her saying: “I couldn’t have done this without her.”
Image courtesy of Steve Edwards