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Marathon Man plans 120 races for 2013

by David Barbeler

Five years ago he struggled to complete a half marathon. But Sydney’s Trent Morrow, better known as the Marathon Man, will spend 2013 running a full one every three days in an attempt to break the Guinness World Record for most official marathons in a calendar year.

With plans to visit 20 countries over the next 12 months, Morrow is kicking off his cancer fundraising record attempt of 120 marathons on January 1 at the Texas Marathon in Houston.

The 39-year-old visited the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) on Monday to consult with Australia’s top sports scientists and athlete support staff to ensure that his body has the best preparation and recovery regimen for the 5063km endeavour.¬†And at 188cm tall with a 100kg frame he’ll need all the help he can get.

“It will be worth checking in on me down the track, but I have no doubts I can do it,” Morrow said. “My personal best is three hours 56 minutes … but my self preservation needs to be a primary focus this year, so it won’t be about the clock.” Morrow is quick to admit he looks nothing like your average marathon runner.

In 2006 he was weighing in at more than 120kg when he didn’t even recognise himself in a picture taken at his niece’s Christening. “That was pretty scary,” he said.

“So I went and changed my diet and got really active and went to the gym. I made some goals to drop weight which really worked over the next few months.” One of those goals was to run a half marathon by September 2007, and while he completed it, he said he struggled across the line.

“That was my first and longest run at that point,” he said. “I couldn’t walk for a week afterwards.”

Fast forward five years and Morrow holds the Australian record for most marathons in a year, completing 25 so far in 2012.

While he has a big step up for 2013, he said there were three key aspects to be aware of in order to break the record.

“One is the physical component, which is why I’m spending time down at the AIS today with the boys,” he said.

“The second is the emotional component, in terms of my headspace being tested, because I’m doing this solo.

“And the most important one is a financial aspect. I have no internet fortune or wealthy background. I’m really having to fund this out of my own back pocket as I’ve been doing this since day one.”

Morrow is calling on sponsors to help him with his 2013 quest, with all money raised to be donated to charities, including the Cure Cancer Australia Foundation.

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