STEVE EDWARDS chose a novel way of preparing for his 19th London Marathon a fortnight on Sunday – he completed the Enigma seven marathons in seven days challenge and collected a world record along the way.
Returning to his IT job battered and bruised on Monday, 51-year-old Steve confirmed his place in the camp marked ‘obsessive’ when telling the Standard: “I rather miss going for a training run today.”
Steve’s own tortured version of Groundhog Day, ploughing round lakeside courses in Milton Keynes for seven straight days, began last Monday. The first three days – seven laps of either Willen or Caldecotte Lake – went remarkably smoothly with almost identical 3hr 18min times.
But when the course on days four and five changed to a mind-numbing 17-lap configuration of the smaller Furzton Lake the trouble began.
“We had to run into a severe headwind for half a mile on each of those 17 laps and I was literally on my knees afterwards, knowing I had to go through that hell again,” admitted Steve, who lives in Moreton-in-Marsh and trains with Bourton Roadrunners.
Then, 400 metres from the finish of his sixth marathon, he took a purler of a fall, banging his hip and knee and clattering into a park bench, giving his calf muscle a nasty haematoma which needed the attentions of his saintly and supportive wife Teresa, a nurse, armed with ice packs.
For the record, Steve’s times were: 3:18.37; 3:18.55; 3:18.51; 3:24.37; 3:25.16; 3:24.35; 3:24.44 for an average time of 3:22.13 and a world record for seven marathons in seven days in the V50 age category.
He won four of the seven races and of the 20 brave souls who attempted the full Enigma Week At The Knees Challenge he was the winner by an overall 50 minutes. In true Steve Redgrave tradition he promised Teresa he would never do a multi-marathon challenge again – but had he not said the same thing after running the Brathay 10 in 10 back in 2010?
“I exceeded all my expectations,” said Steve, “and when the going got tough my focus was always on the record and raising money for local Cotswold charity Kate’s Home Nursing.
“I have been overwhelmed by all the support and so far we have raised more than £5,000.”
Steve’s charity donation page is www.justgiving.com/teamedwards1000 and he takes another step towards his ultimate goal of running 1,000 marathons when he ticks off number 628 in Brighton on April 6.