A runner from the UK has broken the Guinness World Record for running the most consecutive marathons. Kate Jayden of Derbyshire completed her 101st marathon in as many days on Sunday, beating American runner Alyssa Clark’s record of 95 marathons in 95 days, which she set in November 2021.
Jayden began her journey on Jan. 1 and has been running a marathon every day since, on top of her full-time job. In total, she has covered 4,262.2 kilometres over the last three and a half months. The challenge has not been easy, and on completion of her 101st run, she told the BBC, “I’m feeling geriatric, mostly.”
To cap off her record-breaking achievement, Jayden completed her final run at the Brighton Marathon. After crossing the finish line, the 35-year-old told the BBC that she was overwhelmed by the support she’s received. “I feel very privileged that I was able to take that journey and so many people have been in touch to say they have been inspired by it too,” she said after the race.
Originally, Jayden’s plan was to run 2,620 miles (4,216 km) to represent the distance a refugee had to travel from Aleppo, Syria to the UK as a way to raise awareness about what those people have to go through. It wasn’t until after she decided to take on that journey that she realized the distance equaled 100 marathons in 100 days, which would break the Guinness World Record. Since the start of her journey, she has raised nearly £30,000 (approx. $49,000 CAD) for three charities: the Refugee Council, Trussell Trust and The Hygiene Bank.
“That’s what kept me going,” she told the BBC. “The main thing was always about the journey from Syria and knowing how much money was being raised makes me cry. That’s the bit I cared about when I crossed that line.”
Most people would plan to take a significant amount of much-needed rest after completing so many marathons, but Jayden has other plans. After taking a week off, she will start training for a continuous Deca Triathlon in July, in which she will take on a 24-mile (38 km) swim, 1,120-mile (1,802 km) bike ride and 262-mile (421 km) run.
It will likely take several months for Jayden’s record to be confirmed by Guinness, but it may not last that long. Over the last couple of months, we’ve been following U.S. runner Jacky Hunt-Broersma, who has also been working her way to 100 marathons in 100 days in an effort to break the Guinness World Record. Upon learning about Jayden’s accomplishment, she announced on her Instagram that she will increase her challenge to 102 marathons to eclipse Jayden’s record.
“My target goal of 100 marathons has changed a little,” she said in an Instagram post. “The original female record was set at 95 consecutive marathons, but someone just broke that record and set a new record with 101 marathons, so obviously I’m going to keep going to at least a 102 marathons to break the record, maybe more so I can totally smash it.”
Hunt-Broersma is 86 days into her challenge and should complete her 102 marathons within the next month. She is using her challenge to raise money for Amputee Blade Runners, an organization that provides running blades for amputees. The Boston Marathon on April 18 will be her 92nd consecutive marathon.