While many see Christmas as a time to put their feet up, Nene Valley Harrier Darryl Coulter will be cladding his in well worn running shoes as he attempts to add a further three marathons to his already impressive haul.
Despite taking up competitive running just six years ago the 46 year-old endurance addict is closing in on his 100th marathon after completing number 91 at Elsecar in South Yorkshire on Sunday, finishing seventh with a time of 3:39.07.
The previous Sunday Coulter enjoyed another seventh-place finish, this time, at the Enigma Marathon in Milton Keynes.
Such a heavy workload would have broken many runners, but the Oundle-based mileage machine is made of much sterner stuff and has races planned on Christmas Eve, again at Milton Keynes, followed by Bury St Edmunds on December 28 and Bishop’s Stortford on New Year’s Eve.
Despite not being an out and out speedster Coulter has a marathon best of 3:03.41 to his name which he ran in Chicago two years ago, and he is hopeful of dipping under three hours for the first time in the new year.
“I’m not sure where my 100th marathon will be,” said Coulter. “I would guess it will take place during May next year. It will be followed by a party!
“People ask me what my motivation is, and it’s purely to get to 100 as soon as possible, hence the three over Christmas.”
Clearly a glutton for punishment, Coulter also commutes to London on a daily basis and is an Arsenal season ticket holder.
Like all runners he aspires to go faster and is targeting Manchester in April for his first sub three-hour race.
“ After the 100 I aim to turn my attention to the half-marathon and going sub 80. I don’t plan to go on to 200 marathons anytime soon” said Coulter.
Of all his achievements perhaps the most bonkers one was an out and back weekend trip to the Tokyo Marathon earlier this year involving 14-hour flights each way. Coulter acknowledged that this episode hurt his pocket more than his body.
Yaxley Runners’ Steve Lomax finished fifth in The Waterside 10k at Grafham Water on Sunday morning with a time of 36.45.
Luke Myers from Nene Valley Harriers came home three places further back with a 38.01 clocking, while fellow Harrier Olivia Mead took second place in the ladies race, posting 44.31.