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Norfolk runner sets marathon record

Mel Sturman finishing the Great Barrow Challenge to complete 10 marathons in 10 days five times. Picture: Geoffrey Herschell

Mel Sturman finishing the Great Barrow Challenge to complete 10 marathons in 10 days five times. Picture: Geoffrey Herschell

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A Norfolk runner has become a British record holder by becoming the first woman to have completed 10 marathons in 10 days five times.

Melanie Sturman completing the London Marathon. Picture: Melanie SturmanMelanie Sturman completing the London Marathon. Picture: Melanie Sturman

Mel Sturman, from Thetford, completed the Great Barrow Challenge in sweltering heat to claim the title.

Over 10 days she ran 10 marathons on various trails across the Suffolk and Norfolk countryside.

The marathons are all logged through the 100 Marathons Club.

Although a seasoned runner, having completed more than 230 marathons, the Thetford parkrun director said this was the hardest challenge yet.

Mel Sturman finishing the Great Barrow Challenge to complete 10 marathons in 10 days five times. Picture: Geoffrey HerschellMel Sturman finishing the Great Barrow Challenge to complete 10 marathons in 10 days five times. Picture: Geoffrey Herschell

“It was horrible,” said the 47-year-old. “It was the toughest one of the lot because of the heat. I was starting to get really bad blisters on days six and seven I could not even get my trainers on.

“I was sobbing and saying that I did not want to give up. I just had to pop them and salt water them and just shove my feet in the trainer and just deal with it.”

She added: “If you really want something you can turn your mind to do it. But I was close to giving up.”

And if that was not enough, Miss Sturman, a healthcare worker, will aim to extend her record when she takes on the Saxons, Vikings, and Normans 10 in 10 challenge in August.

Mel Sturman finishing the Great Barrow Challenge to complete 10 marathons in 10 days five times. Picture: Geoffrey HerschellMel Sturman finishing the Great Barrow Challenge to complete 10 marathons in 10 days five times. Picture: Geoffrey Herschell

She also has a personal challenge of completing the World Marathon Majors before she turns 50.

She has already taken on London, Berlin and New York and is set to run Chicago in October and Tokyo next year before completing Boston and her 300th marathon.

She said her running achievements she said: “I am really proud of it because it is really for my town because it is something positive for Thetford,” she said.

“I did not take running up until I was 40 do to go from no running at all to this is, it just shows you can do it.”

Melanie Sturman completed the marathon and raised money for  the youth development charity Latitude Global Volunteering. Picture: Melanie SturmanMelanie Sturman completed the marathon and raised money for the youth development charity Latitude Global Volunteering. Picture: Melanie Sturman

Miss Sturman was also running to help fundraise to start a new junior parkrun event in Thetford.

She is keen to launch it by the end of the year but needs to raise £3,000 to cover the initial set up costs.

Designed for four to 11-year-olds, the event will consist of a 2km route which will start at 9.30am on Sunday mornings from a location to be confirmed.

To donate to the parkrun visit the Thetford parkrun website and include junior parkrun or Mel’s 10 in 10 in the note section.

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