THREE marathons in the first eight days of April have put Steve Edwards’ great running odyssey back on track.
The Moreton-in-Marsh-based endurance athlete, who is bidding to complete 500 sub-3hr 30min marathons before his 50th birthday in November, was briefly knocked off his tight schedule when a hamstring injury in March caused him to miss two races.
But successful runs at Taunton (3:20), Milton Keynes (3:21) and the famous Humber Bridge Marathon (3:16) in Hull on Sunday have put a spring back in his step.
He has run 12 marathons in 2012 already (ten in the last eight weeks) and all inside his target time.
“Fingers crossed, I am now back on track,” said Steve.
“The hamstring still isn’t 100 per cent but I’ve made the decision to try and stick to my schedule as best as I can in the hope I can get the job done a little earlier than my 50th birthday.
“If I do have to miss a couple of events again, at least I'll have some leeway. Time will tell if that is a good plan.
“Having started 2012 needing another 31 sub-3:30 marathons to reach my goal, I now have 19 to go.
“I don’t mind admitting I’m beginning to feel the pressure now. The thought of knowing that it’s not just about the number but also the time target makes this goal very difficult.
“I can’t afford many (if any) slip-ups and I can’t afford to take my foot of the gas as every mile of those remaining marathons still has to be run in less than eight minutes.
“In the past when I narrowly missed the target time, as hard as it was to accept, I still knew I had plenty of time ahead. This year I don't have that luxury anymore.
“I have 15 marathons scheduled in the next 13 weeks. If I can run them all within the required time target, that will leave me with just four and the possibility of the big one at Guernsey in August.
“However, if it doesn’t quite go to plan, at least I have a couple of months until my 50th as a cushion.”
Steve Edwards’s total marathons run – 557.
Sub-3:15s – 240; Sub-3:30s – 481.