Dubai: Have you ever taken part in a full marathon (42.195km) or know what it takes to run in one? I for one haven’t and yet I was left feeling dizzy after taking in the feats of Trent Morrow, the greatest marathon runner in the world just in terms of sheer numbers.
Known as the ‘Marathon Man’, the 40-year-old will be taking part in the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon this Friday, having set an incredible world record of running in 161 marathons – yes you read that right – across five continents, 11 countries and 34 US states last year beating the record of 157 marathons by Laurence R. Macon from the US. Trent’s superhuman effort amounted to flying around the globe more than 250,000km, driving more than 30,000km and travelling by train more than 3,000km covering a total distance close to 300,000km to achieve the big goal, all the while running a marathon every few days covering more than 6,793km!
The Aussie runner is an easily-recognisable figure on the streets during marathons, thanks to his Superman costume, the only difference being that he wears the letter M instead of S. This year, he wants to do as many marathons as he can across all seven continents by March and Dubai happens to be his Asia stop before finishing off in Antarctica.
Trent has already run in seven marathons this year and reached Dubai on Sunday from New York via Moscow. In an exclusive interview to XPRESS ahead of his Dubai run, the record-breaking runner spoke about why he took on such an ambitious task and the reason he chose the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon.
“I have never been to Dubai before, only in transit. I could have chosen to run in Tokyo or elsewhere, but I have heard a lot about the marathon in Dubai, how fast the circuit is, the world-class field it has every year and so on. So, when I decided to pick an Asian city on my seven continents target, I chose Dubai,” Trent said.
It’s been just five years the Aussie has been running marathons and he explained the reason why he took on the incredible task of doing 160 plus marathons in 2013. “The inspiration behind my mission was paying tribute to the memory of my mom who lost her battle with bowel cancer 20 years ago and more recently to support my stepmom who was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer and unfortunately lost her battle in March 2013 while I was pursuing the challenge,” he said.
“I am not an elite athlete and it was only a few years ago that I was 30kg overweight and working crazy hours with no balance in my life. I wanted to show that anything is possible when you want it bad enough and hopefully inspire others to follow their dreams. We only get one chance to be in this incredible world and it is all about leaving a footprint for the next generation,” he added.
So, is that why he chose the Superman costume?
“Yes, It has been part of building a recognisable brand. I needed to stand out to promote the cause and subtly suggest that everyone can be their own superhero at whatever they choose to do, like the “Marathon Man”.
Incidentally, Trent left the corporate world at the end of 2012 to run in marathons full-time, a decision that he doesn’t regret despite the immense obstacles he has had to face.
“I am on my own and I am all but broke. Running so many marathons and travelling so much does take a heavy toll on your mind and body but more so, on your finances. I have been desperately looking for sponsors and thankfully some generous individuals have made contributions and several have gifted me air miles.
“After I finish with Antarctica in March, I am going to draw the line in the sand as it were. I hope to become the global ambassador for products, or partner with events or promote them. It would be great if I can start off with the Dubai marathon or any local event or company here,” he said.
To support or sponsor the challenge visit www.marathonman.com.au or follow Trent on social media at Facebook: www.facebook.com/marathonmanworld or Twitter: @themarathonman.