Following what was probably an indulgent Super Bowl Sunday, here is an inspiring story that should get us all rushing lace up our sneakers.. A 49-year old Belgian man recently established a new Guinness World Record, by running 365 marathons (9,569 miles) consecutively, in as many days, far outpacing the 2009 record of 52 consecutive marathons completed by 69-year-old Japanese runner, Akinori Kusuda.
Stefaan Engels, A.K.A. Marathon Man, began his year-long run in his home country of Belgium, before continuing on to Portugal, United Kingdom, Canada, USA, Mexico and finally Barcelona , Spain, where he completed the last 26.2 mile stretch on February 5th, 2011.
This is not Stefaan's first foray into the record books. In 2008, he became the first man to complete 20 Iron Man triathlons. However, he felt the need to take on one more big challenge before going back to his normal life. Also, he thought that this would inspire other people to get active too.
His key to success? The athlete says he kept up his physical strength by running at a steady pace of about 10 Km per hour, averaging about 4 hours for each race, which helps his body recover faster. Since a challenge like this is as much about the strength of the mind, as the body, he keeps himself mentally psyched by thinking of only the marathon on hand, rather than the ones that still lie ahead of him.
While Stefaan's accomplishments are certainly inspiring, they are even more so, when you consider that as a young boy, he suffered from asthma and was asked by doctors, to avoid all sports!
While he now plans to rest and let his body recuperate, we have a feeling we will be hearing from this amazing athlete again, in the near future.