100 Marathon Club Series

What’s it like to run a 100 marathons? More importantly, what does it take to join the 100 marathon club? I want to show everyone that anyone can run a marathon, and that our bodies are far more capable than we give ourselves credit for. I thought the best way of doing this is to share the story of 100 marathons, but not just my story, the stories of many 100 marathon club members with a wide range of backgrounds and abilities. The one thing we have in common is we are crazy enough to have ran over 100 marathons. Running 100 marathons may seem like madness, something you may not want to do, or may not think is possible. But you may be reading this doubting yourself running your first marathon. But it really is possible, and I hope our stories will help motivate, inspire and build confidence whatever your running journey has in store for you.

Joining the 100 marathon club

I ran my first marathon at London Marathon 2011. I had actually been trying to get a spot at London Marathon for so many years, but couldn’t get a ballot place. Like many, I had not even considered any other marathons, and honestly cannot say I knew of any others. The only other event on my radar was MDS, which remains a dream race. Eventually I decided to raise money and got a charity place for Save the Rhino. The prospect of raising the money scared me more than the run itself, and I had never ran more than 16 miles, ever. This was going to be a huge challenge, but it’s the challenge that motivates me. So when I was offered the chance to run as a Rhino, for my very first marathon, I accepted.

London marathon, my first marathon

I still only had London on my mind for the next few years, but started to enter the odd event. First Brighton Marathon, then I decided to add one international event per year, with Berlin Marathon in 2014 and Paris Marathon in 2015. I never had a desire to run lots of marathons, I just wanted to run a few and to beat my time, aiming for a sub 3. It wasn’t until 2015 that I had ran 10 marathons.

Pacing Amsterdam Marathon

By this time things had started to change, I introduced some ultra challenges, and as I am always looking for a challenge I went in big, with 100k. Then after a serious ankle injury I started cross training in 2016 and entered my first Ironman.

100 mile race

During this time I also fell in love with pacing, and my priorities changed. Rather than racing for PB’s I enjoyed helping tens of thousands of people hit their target across the world. Running with people made the marathon experience truly special for me, and I gradually began pacing more marathons. Starting with London in 2014, I started contacting events, and after lots of rejections I started being accepted into pace teams in 2017, and this grew and grew. Its easy for people to see the success, but noone sees the work to get to these successes. 2019 was a peak of pacing marathons for me and I paced 10 marathons around the world. 2020 was planned to be even better, but this just didn’t happen and covid ruined many plans that I was putting in place, and partnerships I was developing. Things took a while to recover with most races not having pacers in 2021, and by 2022 the landscape had changed, along with my personal circumstances and priorities once more.

The finish of Berlin Marathon

One thing that did not change was my love for marathons, and the desire for a challenge. Phoenix Running Events really opened my eyes to the 100 marathon club and the people in it. A smaller event, and one I’ve never had a desire to race, but one to motivate me on the long run. The truth is, I cannot remember the last time I’ve ran much further than 10k alone, I just don’t do it, because i dont enjoy it. So I started entering the Phoenix events as a long training run. Sometimes I’ve pushed myself harder, sometimes I take it easy. I’ve ran harder for 16 to 20 miles then relaxed for the final part. When I go to these events I’m not racing, I’m getting a medal and a marathon whilst training, and have the joy and motivation of seeing so many like minded people running with me. Sometimes I stop for a chat, adjust pace to run with others, but mostly I keep a smile on my face.

100 marathon club baton

In 2021 I signed up for something ridiculous. I ran 11 marathons in 11 days, and I managed to complete all 11 marathons between 03:59:22 and 03:59:28. By this time the countdown to 100 was on and I had decided I would finish my 100 at phoenix to be around like minded people.

11 marathons in 11 days

My 100th Marathon was one of fun and laughter as I completed as Spiderman. My boy also joined me for my last lap (over 5k), maintaining a nice even pace with me to finish in a sub 4.

Finishing my 100th Marathon as Spiderman

But the 100 marathons is just the beginning. I don’t have a target in mind, but I know I’ve got so much more to complete, and genuinely welcome ideas of the next big challenge. This year I aim to complete 26 marathons in 52 weeks. It took me 6 years to complete my first 26 marathons, and I want to do my next 26 in less than 1. Time and money are always big factors to consider when running marathons, but I’m up for a challenge and to see how to make it work.

California Ironman family adventure

There are a few things I’ve learned on the journey. First of all, anyone can do it. Confidence and happiness makes a huge difference. Running with others not only makes it more fun, but it makes it easier, you are capable of more than you think. But most of all, family is everything. Whether that is direct family or the friends that come with you on the journey, they make everything worthwhile, so never forget that.

4 thoughts on “100 Marathon Club Series

  1. Thanks Paul for sharing your great blog and your passion for running… congratulations on your hard-won achievements, and well done for completing 100 Marathons!


  2. I’ve done three marathons, one unofficial one and an ultra, I’ll never do 100 but I reckon I’ve got one more in me at least! Very inspiring to read about people’s mammoth efforts though.


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