John Dawson, who successfully finished the Brathay 10 in 10 challenge in 2011, at the age of 73, is seeking to secure official recognition, from Guinness World Records, that in completing his remarkable feat, he became the oldest person in the world to run 10 marathons on 10 consecutive days.
The mild mannered pensioner, who has the mental strength of an Olympic champion, showed incredible resolve and fortitude to complete the 260 mile run. Whilst most would have been revelling in the glory of completing such an arduous challenge, John was disappointed that his times hadn’t been better.
John Dawson said: “For the last three days of the race I was in real pain and it felt like red hot knives were being constantly stabbed into my shins. But I was determined to finish and I wouldn’t let my body fail me having got so close to the record. At the time I felt I should have done better and I couldn’t understand why I was struggling so much.”
Whilst others would have accepted their fatigued state John, knowing his body so well, sought medical advice. After a series of medical examinations he was diagnosed with cancer of the colon and, although the doctors caught it early, John is now undergoing chemotherapy.
Mark Bushell, Communications Manager at Brathay, spoke to John about his illness: “John felt that he underperformed, during the 10 in 10, and as he completes marathons on such a regular basis he knew something was wrong. It came as a shock to find that his suffering was the result of not only this particular illness but also because, unknowingly, he was anemic. It’s no wonder that he was having difficulties and it really puts his achievements into perspective.”
John concluded: “After putting my mind and body through so much pain I feel that I deserve to have my achievement recognised by Guinness World Records and, thanks to support from Brathay Trust, I’m confident that this will happen in the next couple of weeks.
Watch this space!