“Marathon Man” Sets New World Record

  • By Duncan Larkin
  • Published Feb. 8, 2011
  • Updated Feb. 8, 2011 at 2:55 PM UTC
Stefaan Engels ran a marathon a day for a year straight. Photo: Huffington Post

Stefaan Engels ran a marathon a day for a year straight. Photo: Huffington Post

It was his second attempt to run 365 marathons in 365 days.

A 49-year-old man from Belgium recently broke a marathon record. No, he didn’t run faster than Haile Gebrselassie; he just ran a lot. In fact, he ran a marathon every day for 365 days. Stefaan Engels’ 365th marathon was completed last Saturday in Barcelona, Spain.

The previous owner of the most marathons run in succession was 65-year-old Akinori Kusuda of Japan who completed 52 in a row.

As a child, Engels was diagnosed with asthma and was told to avoid sports.

It was Engels’ second attempt at the 365 marathon record. In his first try, he injured his leg just 18 days into the feat.

“I don’t regard my marathon year as torture. It is more like a regular job,” Engels recalled. “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. There were a lot of moments when I thought, ‘today, I won’t finish.’”

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Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin is the news editor at and a freelance journalist who’s been covering the sport of running for over five years. He’s run 2:32 in the marathon and won the Himalayan 100-Mile Stage Race in 2007. His first running book, RUN SIMPLE, was released last July.

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