By running for the whopping amount of 106 days consecutively, Kate Jayden (UK) turned her daily marathon into a world record.
The runner from Derbyshire achieved the world record for most consecutive days to run a marathon distance (female).
The 35-year-old runner covered an incredible number of miles between 31 December 2021 to 15 April 2022, but didn’t initially plan to break a record.
However, when people told her that her quest might be record-worthy as it started to gain traction with the media, Kate found that the buzz helped promote her fundraising efforts.
After that, she submitted a record application. Having completed her quest in April, she broke Alyssa Clark's (USA) record of 95 days.
The result was later equalled by Aberdeenshire personal trainers Fay Cunningham and Emma Petrie.
Now the three athletes share the incredible achievement after running to raise money and awareness for the respective charities.
Kate's initial plan was to run 100 marathons in 100 days. This would roughly cover the 2620 miles between Aleppo, Syria and the United Kingdom, a route often covered by refugees in search of safety.
Meanwhile, she also focused her fundraising efforts to help refugees with humanitarian aid and mental health care, as well as providing funds for food banks and hygiene banks.
“When I set out on this journey it was a simple one: to run the distance from Aleppo in Syria to Dover in the U.K., a common route taken by a refugee,” Kate commented on Instagram.
“I believe in a world where people shouldn’t have to make a choice between cleanliness or hunger no matter what their circumstances are,” she writes.
"My heart has always longed for a kinder world and country that welcomes people from all walks of life, especially those facing adversity. In the current climate with a hostile environment being created for asylum seekers and those fleeing war, it’s only the fact we happened to be born here that we have such privilege.” - Kate Jayden
“Over the next 6 months I’ll be reading more and raising more awareness around these subjects as well as fundraising to make a difference, so at least a few people may not have to go without a meal, or a hot shower, the feeling of being safe and secure in being able to take care of their basic human needs.”
By the end of the attempt, she had raised over £43,000 for these causes.
"I had been a regular marathon and ultra marathon runner for several years having ran my first marathon in 2011," Kate told us about her training for the record.
"I had just ran my personal best 3 weeks before I began the challenge, and had done many multi day endurance and ultra events.
"My fastest time to run a marathon was my personal best set on day 21 of the 106, in 3 hours 34 minutes."
Kate recalls that consistency and juggling a full time job with her marathon efforts was the biggest challenge she faced during the attempt.
"Knowing I’d need to continue for 6 hours after 8-9 hours of a work day was overwhelming at times, but discipline and commitment to the reasons I began, overtook when motivation waned," she told us.
But, in the end, it was surely worth it and her 106 days of running translated into a new record.
To Kate, the achievement was also a way to acknowledge and thank all the people who followed her journey on social media, and who believed in her quest.
"It was such an incredible sense of pride that so many people had followed the journey to break the record and engaged so much with the causes that lead me to take on the challenge, so the record being verified officially was just an amazing day!"
"It felt in so many ways a way of saying thank you to those who believed in me and kept me going every day and who understood the causes I was so passionate about.
"To run this distance of a refugee’s journey was incredibly humbling. It felt like such a privilege and honour to have been able to experience that and to be able to take the record back to those charities and supporters who facilitated the journey."
"I’ll remain forever changed by those 106 days in more ways than many will ever know."
However, the continuous efforts and fatigue weren't the only issue she encountered along the way.
On day 46, Kate noticed that her knee "hurt a bit," but didn't realize that something might be wrong.
Later, an MRI scan in May revealed that she completed the challenge with a fractured knee, and she will need to undergo surgery.
Although this might have been her last time running long distances due to her injury, the athlete is already thinking about her next targets:
"Of course I’ll be attempting more records… just once I manage to rehab and recover!" she says. "Perhaps bike or rowing next!"
Kate isn't the only one to run a record-breaking marathon, though.
Fay Cunningham and Emma Petrie (both UK) equalled the world record for most consecutive days to run a marathon distance (female) by running alongside each other for 106 days between 19 February to 4 June 2022.
The tagline for their attempt was “Do it while you can.”
“One of the most incredible parts of this whole challenge has been having the time to chat to people and pass the miles together, it really is a team effort, and the support has been unbelievable,” said Emma to STV News.
To complete the challenge, the two had to adjust their timing and tracks according to the weather.
They dealt with snow and rain, and had to listen closely to their bodies as they adjusted to the constant physical exercise.
Overall, their attempt raised £35,115, a sum that was split equally between MND and Macmillan Cancer Support charities.
“We feel fortunate that we were able to run every day and raise money for two incredible charities," Emma and Fay said. "The love and support we received made it an incredible experience.”
“We are also passionate about empowering women and girls to take part in sport and love their body for what it can do, not what it looks like.”
This inspiring all-female podium reminds us all that exercise, and passion can really make a difference and smash goals.
“Impossible is only impossible when you’ve proven it’s impossible, otherwise it’s worth keeping going.” - Kate Jayden