One marathon was simply not enough for Halesworth man

FOR many people running a marathon is the experience of a lifetime.

But for one man from Halesworth that was not enough.

Instead, Ian Taylor, 46, is trying to join the elite 100 marathon club, and as part of his efforts has just run 11 in 11 weeks.

Mr Taylor, of Barley Meadow, only did his first marathon in 2007 at the age of 42, but just four years later he has already completed 52.

The Bungay Black Dog Running Club member was inspired after reading a book about someone who had completed 100 marathons.

Mr Taylor said: 'I had done 10km and half marathons for some years and then I happened to buy a book about a guy who had just run his first 100.

I thought that was a lifetime's achievement and asked myself 'do you think I have left it too late?' At that stage I was 42, but said no.'

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Mr Taylor, who recently took voluntary redundancy from the Royal Mail, ran two in 2007, seven in 2008, 12 in 2009, 20 last year and 12 so far this year.

His efforts have seen him run the London Marathon four times, as well as twice in Paris, Amsterdam and Luxembourg.

He had previously run four marathons in four weeks, but after seeing Leon Bernasconi, of Lowestoft, run five in five, he thought he'd try to double that.

This led him to run in Steyning, Bedford, Brighton, Crawley, Battle, Bungay, London, Bletchley, the Three Forts Challenge, Halstead and Orpington from March 6 to May 14 – a total of over 288 miles.

He said: 'It is the challenge of it, but also seeing the countryside.

'Where those marathons are, are really nice, like Halstead, north Essex.

'It is not an area I know particularly well and would not travel all the way down there just for a training run.'

The landscapes of the marathons varied greatly with the Three Forts Challenge covering 3,500ft of ascents and descents, the London marathon taking in the capital's famous landmarks, while the Crawley marathon was round a 400m track.

'Every one of them is so different and that is part of the enjoyment, no two of them are the same,' he said.

Mr Taylor said his running club had been very supportive and was following him with a great deal of interest.

The fastest of his 11 marathons this year was the Bungay Black Dog Marathon, but he admitted this was not about the time.

'When you are doing that frequency you have to look at the bigger picture.

'You have to remain fit and well, and most importantly injury free to do it all again next week and the week after,' he said.

He admitted that his legs felt a bit stiff afterwards but he goes for a lot of long walks and visited the physio regularly.

Mr Taylor aims to run his 100th marathon in Bungay before his 50th birthday and hopes that he will do it on the same day a number of the juniors are able to run their first.

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