Dreams Come True

Marathon Man UK Takes on the Fastest Crossing of the USA

Robert Young is known as the Marathon Man UK - and deservedly so - but Magnanimous Man UK could go down just as well. And if he can successfully run the length of America faster than anyone else in history in the next couple of months, Super Hero UK would work well too.

The Marathon Man UK

One morning in April 2014, Rob laced up his trainers and ran a marathon in Richmond Park because his fiance had bet him 20p he couldn’t. Turns out he could, and it changed his life. Since then, he’s blazed a record-breaking trail in the running world and redefined the limits of athletic endurance, and not for fame and fortune either. He goes the distance to raise funds and awareness for children’s charities, and more importantly, to give kids with disadvantaged pasts hope for the future. It’s a selfless mission that the Marathon Man UK has dedicated his life to, and one that drives him through every epic endurance adventure.  

In the two years since his maiden marathon, Rob has run the most number of marathons in a single year - 420 in total if you count the ultras; he smashed the world record for the longest run without sleep, covering 373.75 miles in 88 hours and 17 minutes; spent 25 days running a 1900 mile relay around the UK; and won the overall 2015 Race Across the USA in 482 hours and 10 minutes. His extraordinary talent has inspired sponsorships from companies like sportswear brand SKINS, and he’s become an ambassador for children’s charities around the world. Oh, and somewhere between all that he wrote his autobiography too. Not bad for a guy who ran his first marathon in 2014, right? And he’s nowhere near done.

The Fastest Crossing: USA

This month, the Marathon Man UK has set his sights on breaking a record that was set before he was born: the Fastest Crossing of America on foot. To beat it, Rob has to run across the USA faster than Frank Giannino Jr did back in 1980 - a feat that no runner has been able to achieve since. That’s 3100-odd miles across 14 states, covering between 60 and 70 miles a day, every day, in less than 46 days, 8 hours and 36 minutes. Great runners have tried and failed for 36 years, so what makes Rob’s attempt different? The Marathon Man UK has it all worked out.

“Looking back at what other runners have done over the years, I’ve noticed that they’ve gone into it completely fit and race trim,” says Rob. “But the problem with starting in professional race shape is that you deteriorate day after day, and you can’t afford to lose steam.”

Rob’s theory is to start slightly overweight and underfit. “If you add 6 or 7 kilos to your ideal race weight, your body can burn into that once it’s burned through your food so that way it won’t eat into your muscles and everything else that causes deterioration. Where other runners started off strong but burnt out towards the end, I’ll have a slower start but after a few weeks I would have worked off the weight and run myself into ideal shape to carry me through the rest of the way.”

As for his day-to-day management, Rob plans to run each marathon using the same formula he used to run 117 back-to-back marathons in the Race Across the USA last year: running the first half of the distance at race pace and slowing down to a cool-down jog/walk in the second half. “People that race the full distance can’t eat for an hour or so after finishing, but because I would have already cooled down, I’ll be able to go straight into eating 3-4000 calories to start the recovery process. Hopefully that works.” With the full-time support of a dedicated crew that will cheer him on from a campervan provided by his compression sportswear sponsor SKINS, the Marathon Man UK might actually be the first man to beat the transcontinental record in nearly four decades. Fingers crossed!

Doing it for the Kids

Now there’s no doubt that his raw ability to run is inspirational, but why on earth would someone put their body through all that? Well, Rob has his reasons. For one, as somewhat of an endurance running enigma, he owes it to science to push the boundaries of the human body. And two, as a survivor of child abuse, he wants to use his own story to inspire kids to never give up on their dreams, whatever their situation.

“I try to bring hope with my past and bring inspiration through my running. In order for me to continue doing that, I have to keep challenging the limits of endurance. I need to inspire kids and I can’t keep telling them the same stories, so I have to push the boundaries to keep things interesting.”

Run With Rob Young

The Marathon Man has chosen three children’s charities to benefit from his transcontinental crossing, Dreams Come True, the 100 Mile Club and the Tyler Robinson Foundation. You can help him raise funds for children in need by donating money directly to the charities or if you buy any SKINS garment off skins.net using the donation code RunwithRob, you’ll get a promotional discount off the product price and SKINS will donate 10% of your purchase to Rob’s cause.

And if you’re strapped for cash, you can help him raise awareness by getting in on the action. Follow Rob’s progress using the live tracker on his website as he makes his way across America, and gather a crowd to cheer him on or join him for a jog when he passes through your town. Share your experience on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram using the hashtags #RunwithRob, #MarathonManUK, #FastestCrossingUSA and #TeamSKINS to spread his story far and wide.


Hannah Attenburrow
Date: 16/05/2016
Author: Hannah Attenburrow
Source: Dreams Come true


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