ATHLETICS: Century of marathons for Greg

Greg Ashley
Greg Ashley

Triathlete joins exclusive 100 marathon club

Athlete Greg Ashley has just clocked up the incredible achievement of running 100 marathons. It puts him in a very exclusive club of those who have completed the amazing milestone.

The Rugby Triathlon Club member explained: “I ran my first marathon way back in 1984. It was the Harrow marathon, back then I was a cyclist and really only running in the winter and using as a way to keep fit when the weather was grim, I enjoyed it, but it was nothing like running is now. There was no internet to find races so you relied on the local shop as a way of finding local races, but anything out of the area was rare.

“I was quite a good cyclist, plenty of road race and time trial wins and I also raced abroad. Running was just a winter hobby but if there was a marathon I would do it.”

Fast forward to 2008 and Greg says he would get a bit bored with cycling so started competing in triathlon and was drawn to the ironman distance, so from then on he was doing the training for marathons and just ended up running more and more over the last few years.

“The 100 marathon club isn’t just 100 marathons and you’re in, any long race over the marathon distance counts but only counts as one marathon, for example I done the Joust, a 24-hour running race and I ran 100 miles but that only counts as one marathon....

“Then from 2011 I started doing a lot more, ultra races and was probably running ten a year.” It wasn’t until 2014 that Greg found about the 100 Club and realised it was an achievable target, so he just started running more. He notched up an unbelievable total of 16 marathons that year, 19 in 2015 then seven this year to reach the 100,

“I’ve ran some lovely races and some horrid races,” he said. “Any marathon at the end of an Ironman isn’t much fun. The worst was the south west costal marathon this year in south Devon. It was a brutal day, poured with torrential rain, blowing a gale and thick knee deep mud made it utterly miserable!

“My favourite races have been The Wall, a 70-mile race from Carlisle to Newcastle along Hadrians wall which was held on a lovely day and a great course; and the Joust, a 24-hour running race where I came third which was pleasing because it showed if I applied myself I could run well.

“It’s also been great to run abroad. I’ve ran all over Europe and it’s a great experience and I’ve met some marvellous fun and inspiring people. It’s a great target to have set myself and to have achieved it - and also to be part of a very exclusive club.”