After seven full-length marathons in seven continents over seven days, British runner Susannah Gill has taken home first place in the gruelling World Marathon Challenge.
The 34-year-old won six of the race’s seven legs, posting an overall world record time of 24 hours, 19 minutes and nine seconds. The race’s final tilt wrapped up in Miami, USA on Wednesday, capping off 295km of ground covered by Gill.
“I really just started with the ambition of wanting to complete the race, but this week I managed to string together seven marathon performances which allowed me to become the new world record holder,” Gill told Euronews Tonight. “I'm never going to be the world's best runner, but it just shows that if you work really hard and you love it, then you can achieve great things.”
On the men’s side, American Mike Wardian won first place with a dominant overall time of 20:49:30.
Runners braved the elements as they shuttled from one marathon location to the next. The first leg was particularly punishing – temperatures dropped as low as -35C as athletes set off from icy Novo Air Base, Antarctica.
From there, the runners took on sweltering heat in Cape Town and Perth. The travel schedule was an aggressive one, as competitors were whisked on to Dubai, Madrid, Santiago and finally, Miami.
Less than 200 people have finished a ‘777’ style marathon challenge since it was first completed in 2003. But Gill says that statistic shouldn’t frighten any ambitious runners ready for a challenge.
“If anyone wants to have a go at this kind of challenge, I couldn’t recommend it highly enough,” said Gill. “The joy of running is there’s always the next challenge out there.”