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Former asthma sufferer runs 365 marathons in a year

A 49-year-old former asthma sufferer set a Guinness World Record yesterday after crossing the finishing line of his 365th marathon in a year.

Stefaan Engels, inevitably dubbed the "Marathon Man", began the extreme physical challenge a year ago in Barcelona. He competed a race-a-day in seven countries: Spain, Portugal, Belgium, Canada, Mexico, the UK and the US. Engels said he did it as a personal challenge, and as an example to others. "I wanted to show people that if I could run a marathon a day for an entire year, then anyone could run or bike a little each day or do something about their weight problem."

The Belgian ran a total of 9,569 miles. He said the key was a slow pace over the 26.2 miles. "I recover quickly. I don't run fast and my heartbeat is slow." Engels averaged around four hours to complete a marathon. As a youngster, he had asthma and doctors told him he should not participate in sports.