Last Sunday (7 July 2019) hundreds of people descended on Tenby, Wales, to take part in The Wales Marathon 2019. 

Amongst the runners were a group of 122 people hoping to break the record for the most runners linked to complete a marathon.

Running for Cancer Research Wales, the participants were linked with more than just rope, with each of the runners having been affected by cancer in some way.

Organiser Neal Gardner, a Royal Mail employee, was no stranger to this record. He organised an attempt in 2009, securing the title with 30 linked people completing The Wales Marathon in Newport.

"My mum sadly lost her fight to cancer in 2002, at just 48," he said the day before this latest attempt. 

"I began fundraising and it eventually led me to a Guinness World Records title. We first broke this world record in London 2009 with 30 runners. The very same record that we will be attempting to win back tomorrow.”

Since then, the record has grown and grown, and has been held by participants from marathons held in Cologne, London, Paris, Milwaukee, Würzburg and Calgary.

However, after a hearing that a friend of his had been diagnosed with cancer, Neal decided to reclaim the title, 10 years after his first attempt.


"In October [2018] I received the sad news that a very good friend and work colleague, Pip Morgan, had been diagnosed with stage four cancer. It was time to do it all again!"

The successful attempt included many of Neal’s fellow Royal Mail colleagues and Dale Evans, Cancer Research Wales Events Manager, who helped to organise the attempt.

Organised into 30 rows of four runners, the team were successful, with the last person crossing the line in 6 hours and 47 minutes.

Record-breaking participant Cath Diment said afterwards: "Hope you are still buzzing like me, I haven’t stopped talking about what we achieved yesterday!"

"Absolutely loving it when someone says 'did you have a nice weekend' or 'did you get up to much?' uhhhhh yeah I broke a Guinness World Records title and am now a World Record Holder 😊"


Fellow Royal Mail employee and participant Susan Taylor added: "The atmosphere was incredible and I was so proud to be one of a number of Royal Mail staff and others running together to achieve an amazing World Record!"

Reflecting on the attempt, Dale said: "It cannot be overstated what this group has achieved – to have so many runners of all ages and abilities coming together to run 26.2 miles is truly remarkable.

"Many of our runners have been affected cancer in some form. Hearing each person’s reasons for running was incredibly inspiring and really did provide the motivation to dig deep."


"As well as breaking a Guinness World Records title, our runners’ efforts are also helping to fund important research into the prevention, early diagnosis and better treatment that will benefit cancer patients in Wales and beyond."

You can still donate to Cancer Research Wales on behalf of the marathon runners here.