Richard Keatley has been using our electrolyte drinks for a while now. Last summer he took his hydration strategy to the next level by taking our Advanced Sweat Test. Why? Because he'd set himself the goal of running 100 marathons by the time he turned 40 in 2018, giving him just under 3 years.
If my maths serves me correctly, that's 33 marathons a year and about one every two weeks. This is exactly the sort of challenge we love hearing about from within the Precision Fuel & Hydration community (drop us a line with what you're up to at firstname.lastname@example.org). We caught up with Richard recently to see how he was getting on...
Richard, just remind our readers what you're aiming to do and why?
Well, I'm aiming to complete 100 marathons by the time I'm 40 in 2018. At the end of 2015, I restarted marathon running after doing The London Marathon and a few local races a few years earlier. I'd actually thought there was no 'running life' in my after London, how wrong I was!
I completed my first double marathon in Dymchurch, Kentlast year and I just got a bit hooked from there really. I completed 33 marathons in 2016, all of varying distances. I just started experimenting with distances and mixed things up with back to back marathons over weekends, Ultras and a 50-miler. I'm not really doing it for any particular reason to be honest, I just love pushing myself and now that I've told people I'm going to do it, there's no way I'll back out now!
So, you're a third of the way through the challenge, what was the most enjoyable race of last year?
The Wedding Cow Weekender double marathon really sticks out (It's run by White Star Running). It's down in Precision Fuel & Hydration's native Dorset in Holten Health. I ran both Saturday and Sunday in 4 hours 44 minutes, with only 10 seconds difference between the two times.
Another stand out event was the '3 in 3' my cousin and I ran together in Surrey/Kent. I genuinely never thought I'd be able to run 3 marathons in 3 days! Day Two was a bit shabby, with 25 mph coastal winds at Herne Bay, but I pushed through and on Day 3 I somehow managed a 4:33 which felt pretty special (in amongst the short-term pain, obviously...)
I also enjoyed the Salisbury 54321 (which is over footpaths, bridle ways and quiet country roads in the Salisbury Wessex area) and the North Downs Way Trail Marathon on Box Hill.
Sorry, you said favourite and I gave you four, there have just been so many great events put on by some really fantastic people! 2016 was a good year...
What was the toughest race and why?
Definitely doing two races in a day in the heat of August! It was so hot that some people who hadn't done the morning marathon were still pulling out of the evening one. The event started at 9:00 am and I really deliberately took it easy in the first race. I then had a two hour break before the second marathon started, so I had a McDonalds and a pint of Guinness (I can feel your readers cringing right now)...
I started the second race and feet ok for the first few hours, then I hit a bit of a wall but I dug deep and took my PH 1500s - which made a big difference - and I got the job done.
It was a day worth remembering for me in terms of pushing through those mental barriers!
What's your hydration strategy in training and when it it comes to a race?
I tend to drink the odd bottle of PH 250 in the day time a few days before a race, then I preload on the 1500s the night before and the morning of the race, just as you guys advised during my Sweat Test. I then switch to SweatSalt capsules during the race, especially during longer races and when I'm doing multiple events in a day / weekend.
What about your nutrition strategy? How are you staying fuelled up for these marathons?
I stick to a pretty standard, but balanced, diet day to day. But I allow myself any treat I fancy after (or sometimes between, as with the Maccies!) races. I switch to a high carb diet in the days before each event.
How are you balancing the challenge with your work and personal/social life?
I'm lucky that balancing events around work is no problem and that my partner Sara is very understanding. She's even doing a few Half Marathons herself this year and that really helps as we can motivate each other.
I'm also constantly motivated by the people I meet, such as Karl Randal & Phillip Rand who are aiming to reach 300 marathons each. They're each legends in their own right and they're great company. My cousin Martyn, who just completed his 100th marathon himself, is also great for advice and support. It's important to have a strong network of people who really understand what you're doing and why I think.
I do also make sure I see my non-running friends & family as often as possible!
What injuries have you had? How are you helping your body cope with the demand of so many races?
I've been incredibly lucky in that I've suffered no injuries so far. I swear by raising my legs in the air after a race to allow the lactic acid to be flushed out, 'resetting them'. I also use compression gear to aid my recovery.
What races are you looking forward to/dreading the most in 2017?
I wouldn't say I'm dreading any races, but it's in the back of my mind that I need to complete the Giants Head Marathon, one of the toughest in Dorset, but the terrain and views will be amazing so I'm looking forward to it. I'm also really looking forward to the Quadrathon Challenge (4 marathons in 4 days).
I just really enjoy my running and it's great to meet runners from all different kinds of backgrounds around the country