Completing 100 Marathons in one’s lifetime is not an easy task.
Growing up as a young boy in Mombasa, Kenya in the 1960’s, Piyush Gudka had never heard of the marathon. Had someone told him that it would involve running non-stop for 26.2 miles (42.2 km), he would have said ‘no way’. Although Kenya is known for its world class athletes Piyush, coming from a coastal city, was a very good swimmer.
But somehow, destiny was to prove otherwise. Migrating to London in 1972, a whole new world opened up to him, and after running his first marathon in 1994, Piyush got hooked to the concept of keeping fit and healthy and at the same time raising funds for good causes. What he was most impressed by was the whole sense of equality of the race, and how there were no class, race, prejudice, age or sex barriers – everyone, including the elite, ran as equal in one race.
And there was a deep instinct for collective endeavour, so in order to share his passion for running, he started to involve more people and train and run with them. With a 3:49 first marathon Piyush could have gone onto do sub 3:15 marathons, but his devotion to involving and guiding as many people as possible in this beautiful recreational activity was far greater. As at December 2018, he had inspired and trained over 225 people, 36% of whom are women. Many had never imagined they could achieve such a feat, but all have gone onto completing at least one marathon. Piyush’s record has truly impressed the London Marathon organisers both in encouraging and training runners to participate in the race as well as fundraising for very worthy causes. On average, he gives 300 – 400 hours of his time every year to advise, support and run with different people to help them realise their dreams and raise money at the same time. That is a huge sacrifice, given how busy and demanding modern life is. In total, his group has raised over GBP 800,000 (around US$ 1 million) and run over 50,000 miles so far – that is equivalent to going more than 2 times around the whole planet.
From the serene island of Mombasa, Piyush is on target to run his 100th Marathon on 17 March 2019 – The Logicom Cyprus Marathon. He has run marathons on 6 continents and 30 countries, including the world marathon majors (Tokyo, Boston, London, Berlin, Chicago and New York) and is a truly global citizen.
There were never any plans for 25, 50 or 100 marathons. The true desire, humility and sincerity of inspiring, motivating and training so many runners