One time, I got to run with a superhero.
Have you ever heard of Marathon Man? No, not the movie, but the real man. A guy named Trent Morrow, an energetic Aussie with lots of spirit and an infectious love for running. A man who’s on the quest to break the Guinness World Record for the most marathons run in a calendar year.
How many marathons is that, exactly? Well, last year a claim to the record was made of 157 marathons run in one year. Marathon Man is aiming to run over 160 marathons this year. That means Trent has to run at least three marathons a week. Can you even imagine?!
I can’t. But, I got to be a part of the experience when our running club pulled together a series of races to help Trent make a dent in the number of marathons left for the year. In order to reach his goal by the end of December, he needed to run almost one marathon per day this month. One of our club members, David, stepped in to organize the “Frosty 5 Challenge” series to help make that happen.
For the “Challenge,” Trent got to come stay in our lovely little [frigid] Wisconsin town earlier this month, and while here, ran five marathons in a row. WOW!
David recruited volunteers for the course, as well as runners (at least two marathoners each day) to race with Trent. A lot of people jumped in to run the first 6-13 miles with the [crazy?] marathoners as well.
It was inspiring to see how quickly people stepped up to run the marathon. Some people had, like me, just run their first marathon in Chicago in October. Others made this marathon seem like a walk in the park, no big deal. Another guy found the marathon to be his vindication after he bonked the Chicago Marathon—he had a blast and, better yet, set a PR for his best marathon time yet.
I, on the other hand, took the easy [sane?] route and signed up to run simply 6 miles during one of the night marathons.
When I first saw Trent, he bounded into the hotel lobby where all us runners were waiting to start. For someone who had already run two marathons the two days before, I was expecting him to be quiet, maybe moving a little slow and walking gingerly like I had after my marathon. But no! He was lively and seemed excited to go run 26 miles again. No limping, hunching or waddling in sight.
Once we were off, I got to run three miles side-by-side with Marathon Man himself. I was so excited to ask Trent lots of questions about himself, his journey to break the world record, and other running nerd questions in general. But, after my friends informed him that I had just run my first marathon this year, I only got one question in before Trent whipped out his phone and announced I was being filmed on “Marathon Man TV” and started interviewing ME. Ha! I’m waiting for my 15 minutes to fame. ;)
I did find out that the Chicago Marathon is Trent Morrow’s favorite marathon EVER, out of the over 200 marathons that he’s ever run. Can’t beat the crowd support there! He also raved a few times about making a hot cocoa stop at the 13-mile turn-around during his marathons here. Who would have thought, hot cocoa instead of a water stop? Probably because the water here was frozen, it was so cold.
I also wondered how on earth Trent manages to get in enough calories while logging so many miles, and his host for the few days he stayed here said he had been eating pretty much constantly. Now that I think of it, when I first saw him before the run, he was carrying a bag of baked Cheetos with him. Pre-run fuel, I guess.
Another night, I volunteered to hand out water and gels on the course. It was freezing out—literally, 15 degrees—and the wind was growling. I told myself not to whine about standing outside in the cold for 20 minutes when these six runners were tearing up 26 miles. Soon enough, Marathon Man trotted up, smiling and waving. His pace had slowed down, his foot was bothering him, but never once did he sound discouraged, crabby or whiney. He gulped some water and thanked me for coming out—even remembered my name from the night before!— and then he was running again, off to face the dark, cold miles ahead.
Trent is such a positive, friendly, endearing and inspiring individual. I don’t think anyone could help but want to help him reach his goal. Big kudos to my friend David for organizing the “Frosty 5 Challenge” to help Trent on his mission to beat the World Record. And most of all, thanks for allowing me the chance to meet Marathon Man and absorb some of his passion and enthusiasm for running. In my mind, he’s already a legend, and I’m glad I was able to be a small part of it!
If you would like to help support Trent on his goal to run over 160 marathons this year, you can buy a “Team Marathon Man” t-shirt, or donate here to help him cover lodging, food, marathon entries, and more. Whatever you do, be sure to follow him on Facebook as he sprints down the road to the World Record!