In 1994 Rory Coleman quit drinking alcohol, stopped smoking and took up running. Now two decades later, the U.K.- based ultra runner and performance coach is one of his country’s leading ambassadors for the sport. Coleman has completed more than 800 marathons and 200 ultra marathons, and has earned 9 Guinness World Records for running. He’s currently in the middle of his annual #Stoptober campaign, in which he runs 28 miles per day for 28 straight days, all to encourage people to give up their bad habits and start running. We recently caught up with him between his daily runs.
MapMyFitness: What is the #Stoptober campaign all about?
Rory Coleman: #Stoptober is a Public Health England initiative designed to encourage as many members of the general public to quit smoking by having a designated push to stop smoking on October 1st. As an ex-40-a-day smoker I’m leading the media drive to make people aware of the campaign with my 28 in 28.
MMF: Do you do all the miles at once or run several times during the day?
RC: I run them all in one go with a photo or media call at 11am each day.
MMF: What’s been the most memorable experience you’ve had on the challenge so far?
RC: I loved running around all of the famous landmarks in Liverpool, the cathedrals and where the Beatles used to play.
MMF: How is your body holding up to all the miles? Did you do any special training to prepare for the challenge?
RC: My body is taking the strain really well and there’s little in the way of aches or pains and no blisters. Having run nearly 800 marathons, I’m used to running multi-day events.
MMF: What advice do you have for people who are looking to push their limits, whether it’s running their first 10K or first ultra?
RC: Make a plan, take things in easy stages and don’t step up to BIG distances too soon. Running is a life-long pleasure and remember, there’s nothing as good as running fast – enjoy it!
MMF: You’re clearly a fan of classic rock. What are some of your favorite tunes to listen to while running?
RC: I love listening to Yes, Rush, Genesis and Pink Floyd – they made such great LONG songs I just get lost in. Running for as long as I do, you can listen to the whole of an album like Dark Side of the Moon – Pure Magic.
You can follow Roy’s progress on his blog, http://rorycoleman.blogspot.co.uk