As a youngster, Stefaan Engels was diagnosed with asthma and told to avoid strenuous exercise. Fortunately, he did not heed the advice.
Now 49 years old, Stefaan recently finished running his 365th marathon in 365 days. Yes, that is correct. He ran a marathon every day for an entire year. That’s 9,569 miles in the year, which means he averaged more than one mile for every hour in the day for a full year. He wasn’t crawling either. He averaged around 4 hours for each marathon, but ran as fast as 2 hours and 56 minutes. His marathon stretch covered 7 countries. He ran in Spain, Portugal, Belgium, Canada, Mexico, the U.K. and the U.S.
Personally, I have little to no interest in marathon running, but I’m extremely impressed with Stefaan’s accomplishment. There were days when he’d run a marathon and then rush to the airport so he could run in another country the next day. Talk about consistency and dedication.
It is quite common to challenge yourself with difficult goals, yet become distracted as time passes. Stefaan stayed on course every day for an entire year. I’m sure there were difficult times for him, when he questioned whether he’d get up and continue. He persevered however, one day at a time.
I first mentioned Stefaan’s goal to run a marathon every day for a year several months ago on Facebook. Many chimed in with doubt, adamantly stating that it could not be done. It’s nice to see that the critics have been silenced again. Stefaan did what many thought was impossible.
Much can be said about his consistency. Regardless of your interest (or lack of) in marathon running, we could all benefit from such determination and perseverance. Hats off to Stefaan for an inspiring year of running.
“The road to success is dotted with many tempting parking places.”