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Kings of Anglia Issue 10 Magazine Offer

Holland extends his remarkable record at the Great Barrow Challenge '10 in 10'

PUBLISHED: 13:09 12 July 2019

Adam Holland running through the scenic West Suffolk countryside during the recent Great Barrow 10 in 10 Challenge. Picture: GREAT BARROW CHALLENGE FACEBOOK

Adam Holland running through the scenic West Suffolk countryside during the recent Great Barrow 10 in 10 Challenge. Picture: GREAT BARROW CHALLENGE FACEBOOK

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Athletics writer Carl Marston catches up with the remarkable Adam Holland during his win at the Great Barrow 10 in 10 Marathon Challenge

Adam Holland celebrates winning the Stowmarket Fridey Five, while in Suffolk competing in the Great Barow Challenge. He is flanked by Alex Gladley (runner-up) and Andrew Southwood (third). Picture: CARL MARSTONAdam Holland celebrates winning the Stowmarket Fridey Five, while in Suffolk competing in the Great Barow Challenge. He is flanked by Alex Gladley (runner-up) and Andrew Southwood (third). Picture: CARL MARSTON

The recent Great Barrow '10 in 10' Challenge, which finished last weekend, was once again dominated by the awe-inspiring Adam Holland.

Remarkably Holland, probably the most consistent marathon runner in the country, regularly churns out sub-three-hour trail marathons, and sub-2:40 road marathons, on virtually no training at all!

Instead, he tends to treat each race as a training run - which at Barrow meant running 10 marathons in 10 days.

Devon-based Holland, a member of Tavistock AC, duly won all 10 marathon stages, over various different courses starting from the Barrow-based Suffolk Academy, to retain his '10 in 10' title that he has successfully defended every year. This was the sixth year.

And for good measure, the 32-year-old turned up at Haughley Park on the evening of day two of the '10 in 10' Challenge, to take part in the Stowmarket Striders Friday Five. Naturally, despite his 26.2-miler from the morning, he led home the field to win in 26:53.

Furthermore, the day after completing his 10th and final marathon at Barrow, last Saturday, he was competing again, and winning again, this time over 13.1-miles at the Leamington Spa Half-Marathon in a swift 1:13:58.

"I don't do any training, as such," explained Holland, who goes by the nickname of 'Tango.'

"I do all these races, that's my training, and I like to mix it up with the events that I do.

"My training is my competing. However, I do have a treadmill at home now, and I am now doing more stuff at home because I have two little girls, so it gives me the opportunity to still get a run in, while still looking after my youngest daughter," added Holland, whose daughters Eva and Ottilie are aged six and one.

I actually caught up with Holland (not literally!) after his win at the Stowmarket Five, when he had only chalked up two of the 10 marathons at Barrow.

"I ran 3:16 in the morning, on the Thetford course, which is one of the tougher ones," continued Holland. "On day one I did 2:51, which was only 28 seconds outside my own course record. I wasn't really going for that, I was just taking in the first day.

"My legs kind of feel the same every day, because I'm used to it. My legs felt a little tired this evening, and I could feel it when I started (at Stowmarket), but it wasn't too bad.

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"I've won every marathon at the GBC, although I know that at some point someone is going to beat me. I hold virtually all the course records, and the '10 in 10' record.

"I'm the fastest person to run 10 marathons in 10 days, and today was my 423rd marathon or ultra, and I have won over 250 of them.

"I'm number one in Europe for the most marathon wins, as far as I am aware of, and I'm in the top five in the world.

"I'm staying in a hut at Barrow this year, on site, so I do have a bed! I get up at 7.20am to start each marathon at 8am. I don't need to warm up because you just warm up when you get going."

For the record, here are Holland's individual times over the course of this year's Barrow '10 in 10:'

Day one: 2:51:59. Day two: 3:16:21. Day three: 3:29:05. Day four: 3:13:06. Day five: 3:22:35. Day six: 3:25:34. Day seven: 3:17:53. Day eight: 3:23:47. Day nine: 3:18:13. Day 10: 2:58:44. Total time: 32hrs 37mins 17secs.

Earlier this year, Holland took part in a John O'Groats to Land's End race (860 miles).

"It was tough, John O'Groats to Lands End. It was actually a competition, but for most of it I was all on my own," said Holland.

"There were five of us, but just the two of us finished it.

"I got a few niggles through it, and I learnt how to run through it by changing my running style. I lost muscle mass as well, and so when I got back into doing competition stuff, I found it really difficult without any speed-work."

Holland is not a professional runner. In fact, you can often find him at Exeter Moto Services, making Sushi!

He went into this year's '10 in 10' Challenge with an impressive 421 marathons/ultras to his name, so he has now increased that total to 431.

Charity-wise, Holland added: "I raise a lot of money for charity. For the John O'Groats to Land's End, I raised just over £7,000, and I've done loads of other things over the years.

"I raise money for 'Kids Run Free' which is a UK charity to get kids active.

"They have a scheme called 'Marathon Kids UK' to encourage children to do a marathon distance within a school year."

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