What do you do when you get the day off work? Some people might take the opportunity to run some errands or catch up on some of that housework they’ve been neglecting. Others might curl up on the sofa and watch a box set or find a good movie on Netflix perhaps. Another option could be meeting a friend for a spot of lunch or a coffee. As for Stu Nicholas – well, naturally, he decided he would enter a marathon.
For many, this would be a step too far on an impromptu decision. But Stu is no ordinary man. He’d already completed 40 marathons to date and looks well on course to reach his intended target of 50 by the end of the year.
The “Week at the Knees” race he took part in was day 3 of a 7 day series of marathons. There were of course, some runners who participated in all 7 of the races of the Enigma Running event.
For Stu though, it was a return to familiar ground at Caldecotte Lake in Milton Keynes – a location he had been victorious at in marathons on three previous occasions.
Unfortunately for Stu though, this one didn’t go exactly according to plan. He was caught in some traffic on the drive up and almost missed the start of the race. He only arrived at the venue at 9:10 and the race was scheduled to begin at 9:30.
This meant he had to head straight over for the race briefing before taking his place on the start line having had no warm up. It didn’t matter though. He’d made it in time and that was all that mattered, or so he thought.
Once he got going though, he realised something wasn’t quite right and he began to get a tummy ache. This soon escalated and he was forced to make several pit stops as a result.
Nevertheless, he managed to soldier on and, incredibly, he still managed to win the race, completing the course in a mightily impressive time of 3:37:16. That put him exactly 16 minutes ahead of his nearest rival Jesse Shearin who came in 2nd place.
Although it wasn’t the sort of time Stu is used to posting for a marathon, it doesn’t matter. A win is a win and that is all that will go down in the record books.
Having become quite accustomed to winning marathons recently, this was Stu’s 6th victory in his last 8 marathons. That is a record that really speaks for itself.
It took a lot of determination and strength of character for Stu to come out on top, despite the adversity he faced, and the fact that he did is a real testament to his will to win.
There were 37 other competitors in the race that Stu entered on Wednesday 14th March. Amazingly, of those 37 people, 15 of them were doing all 7 of the “Week at the Knees” marathons that week, so that’s 7 marathons back-to-back.
The winner of the cumulative competition was Aarno Lehtola of the 100 Marathon Club, who completed all 7 of his marathons in under 4 hours. This gave him a total combined time of 27 hours 1 minute and 54 seconds.
He was over 2 and a half hours quicker than his nearest rival, Denys Baudry who took 2nd place with a total combined time of 29 hours 36 minutes and 13 seconds.
Up next for Stu is, yes you’ve guessed it, another marathon! This coming weekend he’ll be participating in marathon number 42, the Queen Elizabeth Spring Marathon, which starts off at Queen Elizabeth Country Park near Petersfield.
This is likely to be a tough one, with some pretty testing trails around the country park. It has been alleged that the total elevation gain in the marathon route is equivalent to what you would register if you climb up Mount Snowden.
One thing that Stu was relieved about though is that the course doesn’t incorporate the dreaded Butser Hill, one that many BAC members still have nightmares about to this day following their cross country experience last November.