If you haven’t heard of Stefaan Engels, you are missing out on one of the most remarkable stories I have come across in a long long time. Here is a guy who defied odds, disobeyed doctors, and achieved seemingly impossible feats, repeatedly. Who is he?
He just set the record for most marathons run in a year. Akinori Kusuda, holder of the previous record, ran 52 consecutive marathons at age 65 in 2009. (That is equally remarkable by the way.) Our man Stefaan ran a marathon a day for a year. That is 365 marathons, or one a day, or running 26.2 miles every 24 hours. Damn.
He set the record for most marathons run in a year. What makes this story better is that doctors told him not to compete in taxing aerobic activity due to an asthma condition when he was younger.
Did I mention he was 49? 49 years old and plugging away. Day after day, marathon after marathon. Amazing. His mental fortitude is more impressive than his physical feat. I’m sure there were moments (on say the 165th day and 165th marathon) where he got out of bed, his legs aching, body killing, head pounding, and he just had to grin and bear it and get it done. The mental side of this accomplishment is much more admirable than what his legs accomplished.
If an asthmatic 49 year old can run a marathon a day, then surely, you, reading this can do it. It just takes an unbreakable mindset and determination that could cut a diamond.
Go Getter of the week – Stefaan Engels