Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 16 December 2019

Dubai athlete Marcus Smith completes epic 24-hour run

The man who ran 30 marathons clocks up another staggering feat

Marcus Smith previously ran 30 marathons in 30 days. Duncan Chard / The National  
Marcus Smith previously ran 30 marathons in 30 days. Duncan Chard / The National  

For many people, running a marathon is a feat of extreme endurance.

Dubai athlete Marcus Smith has gone one step further and completed an epic 24-hour run at Dubai's Sports City

The British national started the race on Thursday and had run 206.9 kilometres by the next day. A handful of stops included "10 minutes sat on the toilet showering" with the hose to cool down.

He paid tribute to his wife and supporters on Saturday.

"I still don’t really know what to say aside from thank you," he posted on Instagram.

"To every single person that ran, messaged or just thought about me. You are all amazing humans."

Marcus Smith. Courtesy of Andrea Talmacsi 
Marcus Smith. Courtesy of Andrea Talmacsi

Mr Smith is no stranger to pushing the endurance envelope. He ran 30 marathons in 30 days during last year's Dubai Fitness Challenge. This came a few months after he was hit by a truck in Fujairah and left with life-threatening injuries. In an interview with The National, Mr Smith recounted the terrifying accident.

He was thrown into a brick wall breaking his shoulder, seven ribs and puncturing his left lung.

“As I lay there on the floor, barely able to breathe, with blood from my crushed lung coming out of my mouth, I had a thought. It was simple. I am not yet ready to die," he said.

"In that moment I had a decision to make – fight for every breath or essentially give up. I chose to fight,” he said.

A former professional rugby player, Smith retired in 2010 and now competes in endurance events.

"The last 75 minutes was torture (probably also for all the legends that came to support me having to run that slow) but that’s the beauty of these things, you never know what may happen," he said about the 24-hour race.

"I could have easily settled for 201km but that’s not what we were put on earth for, we were put here to live, to learn and to test our human potential."

Meanwhile, 24-hour runs are a type of ultra-marathon that are increasing in popularity. Runners try to complete the maximum distance but also walk and take toilet breaks.

Professional athletes have run more than 260km in such 24-races.

Updated: November 24, 2019 04:57 PM

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