MarathonMan Stefaan Engels is about to step out in London as part of a gruelling challenge to create an unbeatable world record by running over 26 miles every day for a year.
For the 49-year-old Belgian, it is certainly not a case of the loneliness of the long distance runner, as he is joined by crowds of supporters wherever he runs. He is inviting Londoners to accompany him for part or all of his daily endurance test.
His tour reaches the London on September 28 and will undertake his week of marathon ‘jogs’ starting at the Millennium Arena in Battersea Park from around 2pm to 6.30pm everyday until October 4 when he will run from 9 a.m. until around 1pm before leaving to fly to Seville in Spain.
Sponsored by PronoKal®, the international weight management company, Stefaan is already almost two-thirds of the way towards what he reckons will be an unbeatable achievement in the Guinness Book of World Records.
He set another world record in 2008 by completing 20 triathlon ‘iron-man’ events within one year – each triathlon involving 3.8 km (2.4 miles) of swimming, 180 km (112.5 miles) of cycling and 42.2 km (26.2 miles) of running in one continuous race.
He overtook the existing world record for running consecutive marathons on March 30 this year, claiming the title just 12 months after Japanese runner, Akinori Kusuda achieved 52 daily marathons at the age of 65. His record claim will be lodged once he has completed his 365 consecutive days of marathon running on February 5 next year.
Stefaan says his aim is to inspire others to realise they can be more active in their daily lives, to emphasize the benefits of healthy eating, and to prove that with the right determination and with the support of a good team, you can achieve any goal.
He has a message for overweight Britain. "I certainly wouldn’t recommend starting with marathons to lose weight. It is important before starting strenuous activity to adopt a healthy diet and reduce weight because of the wear and tear on joints. But every obese person faces a personal challenge rather like running a marathon. They need strong determination and discipline to make it to their final goal," he says.