Cotswolds runner Steve Edwards sets world marathon record
Steve Edwards has been crowned 'the godfather' of extreme marathon running after becoming the first athlete in the world to run 500 marathons under three hours and 30 minutes.
The IT manager from Moreton-in-Marsh crossed the finish line of the Enigma marathon at Caldecotte Lake in Milton Keynes to set the record, finishing third in a time of 3:14.17.
Edwards, 48, also smashed his existing world record for running 500 marathons in the fastest average finish time, which now stands at 3:15.14.
His first marathon was the Coventry Marathon in 1981 and the father-of-one has run more than 13,000 miles in marathons – plus thousands more miles in training.
He also holds the world record for running ten marathons in ten days.
"Everything went so well that I had to revise my original goal, which was just to run 500 marathons by 2012," said Edwards, who runs with Bourton Roadrunners.
"No-one who has run 500 marathons has ever done it in anything like the times I did.
"I surprised myself with what I have been able to do.
His 47-year-old wife Teresa has been his biggest supporter, attending every one of his races.
He plans to dedicate his achievement of 500 sub-3:30 marathons to help raise awareness and sponsorship of his chosen charity – the Brathay Hall Trust, which works with disadvantaged children and young people from all over the UK.
"My running has taken me to 26 countries in all, not to mention the length and breadth of the British Isles, from the Isles of Scilly to the Outer Hebrides, some 60 counties all told."
Speaking of his 500th marathon, he said: "Sunday, November 11th was a very special and emotional day which Teresa and I will remember for the rest of our lives.
"I felt incredibly honoured to be cheered around the course and at the finish line by many members from my club Bourton Roadrunners and also the 100 Marathon Club and Brathay 10in10 club who all came out to either run or support.
"To also have my immediate family there to see me do it, my wife Teresa, son Jason and daughter in law Christine along with my three young grandchildren, Alyssa, Farren and Courtney, that made it even more special.
"I would like to say a big sincere thank you to everyone who has supported me over the years, to all those who have shared the journey with me, my club colleagues at Bourton Roadrunners, 100 Marathon Club and Brathay 10in10 club, my sponsors Team Mannatech Nutrition and Sub Sports Performance Clothing, my family and friends and most importantly my wife Teresa, without her support and understanding I know this wouldn't have been possible,
"I once had a dream ... all the effort, all the hard work, the blood, the sweat and the tears .. 24 years of focus, discipline and dedication .. and now that dream is realised,
"Where do I go from here? ... who knows ... for now its a time to just savour the moment!"