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‘I think the wife has had enough now’ runner Ian Odgers pledges to ease off the miles after completing 100 marathons in 100 weeks

PUBLISHED: 13:22 03 January 2018 | UPDATED: 13:22 03 January 2018

Ian Odgers from Dereham has run 100 marathons in 100 weeks.  Picture supplied by Ian Odgers

Ian Odgers from Dereham has run 100 marathons in 100 weeks. Picture supplied by Ian Odgers

Ian Odgers

An inspirational father-of-six from Dereham has joined an exclusive club of marathon runners having completed his 100th in 100 weeks.

Dereham runner Ian Odgers has completed 100 marathons in 100 weeks.
Byline: Sonya Duncan
Copyright: Archant 2017 Dereham runner Ian Odgers has completed 100 marathons in 100 weeks. Byline: Sonya Duncan Copyright: Archant 2017

Ian Odgers, 49, crossed the finish line in Great Barrow in Suffolk on Saturday to notch up the century of marathons in as many weeks - but is showing no signs of stopping.

Running has taken Mr Odgers, a production manager for Peerless Plastics and Coatings in Thetford, all over the world, from the highest altitude in Europe, to Brazil and Japan.

But he said the past month had been particularly tough.

“I did three in three days in Suffolk to get me to the 100,” he said.

Dereham runner Ian Odgers has completed 100 marathons in 100 weeks.
Byline: Sonya Duncan
Copyright: Archant 2017 Dereham runner Ian Odgers has completed 100 marathons in 100 weeks. Byline: Sonya Duncan Copyright: Archant 2017

“That made it eight in December and there was a lot of ice, rain and flooding on the roads and I actually fell over after I finished cutting my knee and elbow because of the ice.”

Mr Odgers has now run a total of 137 marathons since 2005 when he first completed the London Marathon and said he was “quite sensible” about his running schedule for the first few years.

But in the past couple of years he has upped his game to another level, spending most weekends getting up at 4am to drive to events. He said he was planning to ease off a little this year to spend more time with his family.

“I’ve got six children and four grandchildren so it has been a busy Christmas period,” he said. “But the family has been really good about it.”

Dereham man Ian Odgers, pictured after running his 52nd marathon in the space of a year, in Japan. Dereham man Ian Odgers, pictured after running his 52nd marathon in the space of a year, in Japan.

He is working towards a coast-to-coast run in Devon at Easter, a mere 117 miles, while fitting in a few ultra 50-milers before then and some straightforward 26.2 marathons as well.

“I’ve got this weekend off,” he said. “The first one since early October. I am going to do a marathon in Gran Canaria and one in Cyprus this year. There will be one at altitude in Switzerland which will be tough. Last year I did the Davos marathon which is the highest altitude in Europe, with a 6,600 feet elevation. The scenery was stunning and I vowed I would never do that again, but I am planning to go back in September!

“I won’t be hitting the numbers I have been doing because I think the wife has had enough now and so has the bank manager.”

Mr Odgers has raised around £16,000 for charity with his efforts and said many social media followers have been inspired to take up running because of him.

Ian Odgers running a marathon in Kent. Picture: Submitted by Ian Odgers. Ian Odgers running a marathon in Kent. Picture: Submitted by Ian Odgers.

How he did it

Ian Odgers only took up running in 2005 and said before then he “couldn’t run for a bus”.

His first event was the London Marathon which he finished in a time of four hours and 12 minutes.

The next year he finished in a time of three hours and 57 minutes.

His fastest finish was the New York marathon in 2008 in a time of three hours, 55 minutes and seven seconds.

For his 100 in 100 weeks his fastest time was four hours and 15 minutes.

His average time was around four hours and 40 minutes.

He managed two marathons in a day - twice, 17 double marathons, a 100-miler, three ultras, 13 marathons in Europe plus Rio de Janeiro, Kyoto and Marrakech.

His goal was to achieve the 100 in 100 before his 50th birthday - he is currently 49 years old.

He credits his achievement to “good mental strength” as well as endurance. “I know I can get through anything.”

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