For most people, running 26.2miles is a once in a lifetime achievement, never to be repeated, but not for Peter Mackrell of Leighton Buzzard Athletic Club.
On Christmas Eve in 2014, a conversation in the pub led to Pete challenging himself to complete all six races of the Abbots Marathon Majors within a two year period.
Having completed the New York Marathon in November 2014 in an excellent time of 2:42:04, this left London, Berlin, Tokyo, Boston and Chicago for the chance to be one of only a few people in the world to have completed all six.
Next up in April 2015 was London, finishing in a PB of 2:38:06.
Pete was back jetting across the world in February 2015 to Japan to take part in the Tokyo marathon, which he ran in 2:35:58.
Onto the oldest marathon in the world, Boston, only six weeks after running Tokyo. Despite hot, hilly conditions and feeling the fatigue, Pete finished in 2:46:01.
The final marathon in Pete’s quest was Chicago and took place last month. The preceding 23 months leading to the Chicago marathon had been a gruelling affair full of 70 mile weeks, intervals, hill sessions, long runs in the freezing cold and blazing sun, five tough marathons and plenty of other races.
So perhaps it was no surprise that Pete’s build up to Chicago was hampered by numerous injuries and niggles. But despite this, there was no way Pete wasn’t going to complete this one.
Pete went off faster than he had planned but managed to hold on and finally crossed the finish line, clocking a great 2:39:27 and thus completed his mission.
To complete all six of the Marathon Majors in 23 months is an amazing achievement by anyone in any time, but after New York, London, Berlin, Tokyo, Boston and finally Chicago, Pete averaged a remarkable average time of 2:39:12.
Collectively and perhaps most impressive of all, Pete’s times place him in seventh place out of approximately 1,100 runners in the entire world to have completed all six races.