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‘I reckon I’ll get to 250 one day’ - runner Ian Odgers from Dereham shows no sign of stopping after completing 102 marathons

PUBLISHED: 06:02 04 May 2017

Ian Odgers running a marathon in Kent. Picture: HELEN DICKEN.

Ian Odgers running a marathon in Kent. Picture: HELEN DICKEN.

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Nobody believed Ian Odgers when he told friends and family he was going to run the London Marathon.

Ian Odgers crosses the line after completing his 100th marathon. Picture: RIA ODGERS. Ian Odgers crosses the line after completing his 100th marathon. Picture: RIA ODGERS.

He was a heavy drinker and smoker, at the time, in his mid 30s and had never shown much aptitude for sporting success.

Now, 12 years on, Mr Odgers has incredibly notched up more than 100 marathons, running in countries across the world - including Brazil, Japan, America, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Ibiza and Finland.

Mr Odgers, 48, from Dereham, ran his 102nd marathon at Milton Keynes on Monday.

He said: “I ran my first marathon was London in 2005. Everyone laughed and said never do it but that just made me more determined. I wanted to prove them wrong.

A map showing some of the locations around the world where Ian Odgers has run marathons. Graphic: ARCHANT A map showing some of the locations around the world where Ian Odgers has run marathons. Graphic: ARCHANT

“I finished in four hours and 12 minutes, I was happy to finish but gutted to be over four hours so I went back the following year and finished in three hours and 57 minutes. I then thought it would be good to do it three times so went back again and it spiralled from there.

“Soon I was travelling overseas and running marathons in places like Brussels, Barcelona, Luxembourg and New York.

“It was in 2010 that I actually decided to set myself a target of running 100 marathons after talking to people who had done it while at an event in Devon.”

Mr Odgers completed his 100th marathon at Great Barrow in Suffolk over the Easter weekend. His 101st was at Boston, Lincolnshire and, at his 102nd in Milton Keynes on Monday, he recorded his best time in three years - four hours and 16 minutes.

He estimates he has run more than 3,000 miles and, travelling to marathons, has flown more than 50,000 miles and driven more than 22,000 miles

Mr Odgers once pushed himself so far that he ended up in hospital for nine hours, after completing a 100-mile race from Richmond to Oxford.

He has also twice run two marathons in one day and raised £16,000 to help several charities.

Mr Odgers, who works as a production manager for Peerless Plastics and Coatings in Thetford and has six children, said: “People tell me that running a marathon must be like a walk in the park to me now but that’s not the case. The 26.2 miles don’t seem to get any shorter.

“The best thing is the people you meet along the way. The hardest thing is the travelling and the early starts, sometimes leaving home at 4am and being away from my family. It can get quite lonely.”

Mr Odgers is showing no sign of stopping. He has started competing in triathlons, despite the fact that he hasn’t been swimming for 40 years.

He is also planning to run further marathons in Israel and Switzerland.

He said: “People think I’m mad and thought I would just stop but when I did my 100 marathons.

“But when I have a weekend without a marathon now it feels really strange.

“The next target people go for after 100 marathons is to get to 250. I reckon I’ll get there one day.”

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