IT’S PRETTY CLEAR WHO THE “ATHLETE OF THE WEEK” REALLY IS -SIR RANULPH FIENNES.
THIS STORY COURTESY OF THE IAAF WEBSITE
Heart attack is no bar to running 7 Marathons in 7 days
Tuesday 4 November 2003
It might not be a feat which would interest the world’s fastest marathon runners, Paul Tergat or Paula Radcliffe but it is still worth recording and admiring the tenacity of British explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes who ran the New York Marathon on Sunday, completing his historic challenge of running seven marathons in a week.
Fiennes, who had double-bypass surgery just four months ago following a heart attack, finished the 41.5 kilometre (26 mile) course in just over five hours, 25 minutes.
The adventurer ran each of the seven races with his friend and medical adviser Michael Stroud, 49.
The duo also completed marathons in Sydney, Singapore, Chile, Faulkland Islands, London and Egypt before taking on the New York race, the only organized marathon of their quest.
They ran the marathons over six continents, missing a chance to slog through Antarctica because of bad weather.
The 59-year-old Fiennes said his biggest test was marathon number 4 in Singapore because of the tropical climate. With temperatures reaching 32 degrees Celsius (90 Fahrenheit),
Fiennes barely finished and afterwards said he was “pretty stupid” to take up such a dare so soon after undergoing a double-heart bypass operation.
But ultimately he wasn’t going to let a near fatal heart attack derail his plans to run seven races in seven days. He is nevertheless promoting his latest adventure, dubbed
Landrover 7x7x7 Challenge, as an inspiration to fellow sufferers of heart ailments, intending the marathons to raise money for research on heart disease.
Fiennes was the first explorer to complete a tour of the world on foot and then sailed between the two poles in 1982 before crossing Antarctica on foot with Stroud in 1993.
Apart from the 293 kilometres (183 miles) of pavement pounding, Fiennes clocked around 72,000 kilometres (45,000 miles) in air travel to complete his marathon challenge.