A Bromley school teacher is now more than halfway towards his goal of joining the 100 Marathon Club after finishing fifth in the Black Phoenix 6-Hour race at Walton-on-Thames earlier this month.
Stuart Bayley-Dainton, 51, ran 26.24 miles in 3:35:37 to complete his 55th marathon and take another stride towards his quest to gain the exclusive 100 Marathon Club's colours. Stuart's personal best of 2:58:51 was set in last year's London Marathon.
The former Royal Navy man did not let the restrictions of his career prevent him from pursuing the sport he loves, as he explained to runABC South: “I’ve always been a runner. Even when I was in the Royal Navy, I would spend hours running around the ship, which wasn’t an easy feat at times.”
Stuart's first London Marathon was in 1996 and he decided to compete in one every year thereafter. However, it was not long before the miles began to stack up, as he explains: “As I’ve ticked off more achievements the running bug has really taken hold and I’m now aiming to undertake ten marathons a year. I run about 40 miles every week so everyone thinks that running is something that comes naturally to me - it doesn’t. As with anything in life, every journey starts with the first step and requires practice and commitment.”
Stuart has also raised more than £15,000 for the Salvation Army and Patrick Wenham, head teacher at Bickley Park School where Stuart works, commented: “We often talk to our children about resilience and the importance of being as strong as you can be. Stuart is an exceptional example of this. What began as one gruelling 26.2-mile run has seen him raise thousands for charity. Seeing him halfway towards his goal of joining the 100 Marathon Club helps the students realise that any dream is achievable with the right determination.”
All at runABC echo that sentiment and wish Stuart every success as he closes in on his target.
Image courtesy Stuart Bayley-Dainton