Kate Jayden: 106 Marathons in 106 Days, Official Guinness World Record

Stephanie Hoppe |

On April 15, 2022, Kate Jayden did the same thing she’d done for the previous 105 days: she ran 42.2 kilometres. And with that marathon, the 35-year-old English woman became a Guinness World Record holder.

This week Guinness verified Jayden’s accomplishment, which shattered the previous record of 95 days set by Alyssa Clark in 2020. Jayden shares the world title for most consecutive days to run a marathon distance (female) with Fay Cunningham and Emma Petrie, partners who also ran 106 back-to-back marathons this year.

Jayden started logging daily marathons on December 31, 2021, with a goal to run 100. This was significant since 4217 kilometres is about the same distance that refugees travel between Aleppo, Syria, and the United Kingdom.

On her fundraising website, where she has raised more than R852 335 for the Refugee Council, The Trussell Trust, and The Hygiene Bank, she explained that she hopes “…to help refugees with humanitarian aid and mental health care, as well as providing funds for food banks and hygiene banks, used by all manner of people, whether British or not because I believe in a world where people shouldn’t have to make a choice between cleanliness or hunger no matter what their circumstances are.”

Jayden, who ran her first marathon in 2011, prepared for her most recent endeavor by completing numerous multiple-day endurance and ultra events. And she did it all while also working a full-time job.

“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 Guinness World Records.

It wasn’t just motivation that proved challenging. On day 46, Jayden experienced knee pain and struggled to bear weight. Committed to finishing what she started, Jayden ran/walked an additional 60 marathons.

In May an MRI revealed the culprit: a fractured knee, which will require surgery.

“Of course, I’ll be attempting more records… just once I manage to rehab and recover!” she said. “Perhaps bike or rowing next!”

All three women who hold the title for most consecutive days to run a marathon distance (female) share another thing in common: they ran to raise money for charities.

Cunningham and Petrie, who are also from the U.K., logged almost all of their kilometres side-by-side. From February 19 through June 4, 2022, they raised R733 173 to support Macmillan Cancer Support and the Motor Neurone Disease Association.

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

On the duo’s website, they described the inspiration for their challenge, “We wanted to encourage people to ‘do it while you can’ because we have both lost a parent too soon. Inspirational to us, our parents encouraged us to get outside and push our limits and that is exactly what we did.”

They were not the only runners who pushed their limits during a world record attempt in 2022. Starting January 17 and running until April 30, Jacky Hunt-Broersma, 46, completed 104 marathons, just short of the world record shared by Cunningham, Petrie and Jayden.

She raised nearly R3 410 108 for the Amputee Blade Runners, an organisation meaningful to Hunt-Broersma, whose left leg was amputated below the knee in 2001 because of Ewing sarcoma.

Hunt-Broersma previously told Runner’s World that she was motivated to go after the world record while supporting a nonprofit that provides others with blades. “I was intrigued; I didn’t know that there was a record like that,” she said. “I thought, ‘Oh, maybe I could do it.’”

And when she finished marathon 104, it seemed that she had. But, with other women simultaneously running for the record, her attempt was surpassed.

If all this talk of Guinness World Records has you hankering to set your own, know that it is a time and labor-intensive process.

You’ll need to first familiarise yourself with all the specifics required by Guinness, including record-breaking criteria and policies. After creating an account on their website, you’ll apply to set or break a record. Keep in mind that it can take 12 weeks or more for Guinness to make a determination (you can pay extra to expedite this step). If your application is accepted, you’ll receive a guide to your evidence, which details the steps and proof necessary to make your record official.

Then you’re ready for the fun part: setting the record! Needless to say, there will be extensive training and practice required, so factor that in, too.

When you’re feeling prepared to make your world record attempt, you’ll need to do so in the presence of independent witnesses. If successful, you must submit proof, including a cover letter and all other required documents, to the Guinness website. Then it’s time to wait again. It can take another 12 weeks before you find out if you are an official Guinness World Record holder.

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