Shropshire

Amy Hughes completes 53 marathon record bid

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Media captionAmy Hughes says her new world record is "amazing"

Finishing her 53rd marathon in as many days, Amy Hughes has run into the record books, not only beating the women's record, but the men's as well.

The challenge has seen the 26-year-old sports therapist, from Oswestry in Shropshire, run marathons every day, starting in Chester on 6 August and ending in Manchester on Saturday.

"I feel like I can keep going. If anything I feel stronger," she said.

"If someone suggested running a 54th marathon I probably would to be honest."

Image copyright 53 Marathons
Image caption People have supported her in a number of cities, including Wolverhampton
Image caption Many of Amy Hughes's friends and family joined her at her 50th marathon in Oswestry

That is not to say there have not been some difficult times along the way.

Last week a stomach bug left her vomiting and meant she had to battle through the 26 miles, walking some of the sections.

Overall, however, she said the challenge had been a "fun" experience.

"I was inspired by Larry Macon who ran across the states," Ms Hughes said.

"I didn't really start by wanting to break a record, I just looked at a map of the major cities in the UK and wanting to run in them.

"I've met loads of lovely people and run in some really nice places. Down south, Brighton and Bournemouth were really pretty and the weather was amazing."


53 Marathons

Image copyright AFP
  • Started in Chester on 6 August and finished in Manchester on 27 September
  • With each marathon 26 miles and 385 yards long, Amy Hughes has run just over 1,389 miles in all
  • She has got through five pairs of trainers during the 53 days
  • The current record for the most marathons run on consecutive days is 17 for women and 52 for men

In all, Ms Hughes has covered more than 1,300 miles, running in cities such as London, Liverpool, Wolverhampton, Newcastle, Glasgow and Cardiff.

Other runners have joined Amy Hughes along the way and she has had plenty of support, especially on marathon number 50, in her home town of Oswestry, in Shropshire.

"The support was amazing, very emotional. Loads of people came out."

It was also the first time some of her friends and family had seen her since she started the challenge and hundreds of pupils from the Marches School ran a mile with her.


Marathon feats

  • Explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes ran seven marathons, in seven days, on seven continents in 2003.
  • Comedian Eddie Izzard completed 43 marathons in 51 days in 2009
  • In 2006 Dean Karnazes completed 50 marathons across 50 US states in 50 consecutive days, only to run back home from New York to San Francisco.
  • Last year Japanese army instructor Toru Sakurai completed a marathon in just over four hours 39 minutes while carrying a 60 lb (27.2 kg) pack.
  • Larry Macon from the USA holds the record for the most marathons run in a calendar year, running 239 between 1 December 2012 and 30 November 2013.

There has also been plenty of backing on Facebook and Twitter, with Paula Radcliffe tweeting her support for Amy's "amazing and inspirational accomplishment".

"Someone sent me a picture the other day, saying that last week I'd already run to Italy, which is crazy," Amy Hughes said.

As well as encouraging children to lead more active lives, Ms Hughes took on the challenge to raise money for the Isabelle Lottie Foundation after a friend's daughter, three-year-old Izzy Wynne, was diagnosed with a form of brain tumour.

She is hoping to raise £53,000 for the charity.

Amy Hughes's record still needs to be validated by Guinness World Records before it is official.

In the meantime, she said the only plans she had were "to chill" and take plenty of rest.

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