‘I never thought I would get this far’: London man runs 365 marathons in 365 days | Running

Aaron Robinson passed something of a milestone on Sunday – 26 milestones, to be precise – as he and his border collies, River and Inca, completed their 365th marathon in 365 days.

Every morning, for exactly a year, the charity worker has left his east London home to set out on his lonely marathons, all before a full day’s work.

“It was good today. Very muddy. But I had about 30 people running with me today, which was fantastic, especially as I usually run alone. I never thought I would get this far, so it’s a great achievement. And it just inspires me to keep on going,” he said.

Yes. One year is not enough for the 41-year-old, who is raising money through his mycrazycollies social media platforms for Hope for Justice, the anti-human trafficking, anti-modern slavery charity where he is international communications manager.

On Monday, Robinson will do it again – with his eyes set firmly on breaking the unofficial record of 607 runs in 607 days set 10 years ago.

He is living, by choice, through his own Groundhog Day.

This being Sunday, he allowed himself a little lie-in. But his daily routine goes thus: “I get up at 3am to start running at 4am. It takes around five hours. Then I start work, finish work at 6.30pm, go to bed at 7pm, get up at 3am and do the whole thing again.

“It is like Groundhog Day. I see the same people at the same time, and have the same conversations – usually ‘How are your dogs, fine, goodbye.’ A lot of them know what I’m doing because they see me running at the same time every day and, obviously, ask what I’m doing.”

Sustained by bagels, cheese and a vegetarian carb-heavy diet – he lost 11kg when he first started but his weight stabilised as his body adjusted – he follows the same trail through Wanstead Park and Wanstead Flats alongside Epping Forest.

On occasion, he has to attend meetings at the charity’s Manchester HQ, so his run will start at 1.30am.

Robinson has run through colds, flu and a severe bout of food poisoning, during which he threw up “seven or eight times during the night”, and still made the 26 miles, though with a slower time of about six hours. His runs are uploaded to a running app on his watch, so there is no chance of cheating, “because everyone would know.”

His knees are fine. His hips are fine. So far he hasn’t twisted an ankle. He’s worn out four pairs of running shoes.

Running mostly in the dark, he once almost ran slap bang into a cow. “We were both fine. I was probably more scared than the cow. It was a big cow.” And he’s seen nothing too disconcerting, despite running in the dead of night. “A bit of fly-tipping. And a couple in the summer once, possibly doing a bit more than making out.”

He sets challenges to vary the run, including, for one week, adopting a seven deadly sins theme. Gluttony had him consume one chocolate bar for every mile (“I was a bit sick on that run”). For pride he ran barefoot (“I was really proud of that, though my feet were a bit of a mess afterwards”). Lust was a difficult one (“I decided I had to find 26 objects beginning with every letter of the alphabet on the run, things that I liked on wanted to do. It was a bit of a fudge, really.”)

The one thing that will make him give up is if his dogs, both border collies, decide they’ve had enough. “But they absolutely love it. When we finish they run around again.” But, he added, “If the dogs sat down in the middle of the field and said ‘we’re not moving’, then I would stop it.”

It all begs the question: why? “My dogs probably got me into it. And, as you know, a lot of charities are going through a tough time at the moment with the cost of living, seeing slight reductions in donations. And I am really passionate about the work of our charity, they work all across the world helping victims and survivors of modern-day slavery and human trafficking,” Robinson said.

“So tomorrow, I‘ll get up at 3am, do the marathon, start work, and my Groundhog Day continues.”

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