HOTELIER Paul Sahota has become a member of an elite club – after running 100 marathons.
What makes Paul’s achievement even more amazing is that he has done the bulk of them in just one year – sometimes four in four consecutive days.
The dad-of-two, who runs The Jingles hotel in Emsworth, did not embark on his mission until 2012, when he was 43, and now, having completed the challenge he set himself, he is aiming to do 100 more.
He said: ‘It was a lifetime ambition of mine to run the London Marathon, which I did when I was 30.
‘It hurt so much I vowed I would never do another one!
‘But, 13 years later, I found myself doing the South Downs Marathon.
‘Three miles from the end I met Traviss Willcox who held the record for completing 100 marathons in the quickest time.
‘That’s when I discovered the 100 Marathon Club and liked their blue and yellow shirts and the medal.
‘I thought to myself, “I don’t know how long it’s going to take but I’m going to do it”.
In no time at all Paul was clocking up a marathon, sometimes two, at weekends.
His family – wife Beena and children Roshan and Priya – are amazed at his dedication.
Paul says: ‘I wasn’t sporty at all as a child. But I think 2012 being the Olympic year really inspired me.
‘I’ve done 10 doubles – Saturday and Sunday – a few triples and even four in a row. The funny thing is, I felt absolutely amazing after four on the trot.
‘But you get some marathons where just doing one makes you feel like you’re going to die.
‘My family don’t mind. Because I work from home they are happy to have me out from under their feet at weekends.’
But they were there to support Paul on Saturday when he made it to the magic 100 in the South Downs Marathon.
They were waiting for him at the finish line with a Darth Vader cake – the Star Wars character he regularly dresses as in his marathons.
He said: ‘It’s a hot and sticky costume and very hard with the mask but it puts a smile on people’s faces.’
And there is another challenge on the horizon.
‘I’m not unique,’ he said. ‘There are people who have done 1,000. I’m aiming for 200 – but not so quickly this time.
PAUL’S 100 MARATHONS
London, South Downs x 4 (West Sussex), Chichester (West Sussex), Thames Meander x 5 (Surrey), Farnham Pilgrim x 3 (Surrey), New Forest x 6 (Hampshire), Isle of Wight, Greensand (Surrey), Steyning Stinger x 2 (West Sussex), Endurance Life Sussex (East Sussex), Three Forts x 3 (West Sussex), Littledown x 2 (Dorset), Giants Head (Dorset), Salisbury x 2 (Wiltshire), Bacchus x 2 (Surrey), Clarendon (Hampshire), Beachy Head x 2 (East Sussex), A20 Path and Downs x 2 (Kent), Saxon Shore x 4 (Kent), Buff Enigma x 2 (Buckinghamshire), Buff Willen (Buckinghamshire), Viking Coastal x 7 (Kent), Martello x 2 (Kent), Enigma x 7 (Buckinghamshire), Buttons for Brathay x 2 (Kent), Brighton x 2 (East Sussex), Bewl Water (Kent), Richmond Park (Surrey), The Ox (Hampshire), Arun River (West Sussex), Summer Enigma (Hampshire), Croydon Ultra (Surrey), Ranscombe Challenge x 3 (Kent), Summer around the Reservoir (Northants), Vanguard Marathon (Surrey), Lemmings (West Sussex), Leilas Run (Hertfordshire), Kent Coastal, Tolkien (Kent), Fowlmead x 2 (Hampshire), Stevenage (Hertfordshire), Enigma Fireworks x 2 (Buckinghamshire), Phoenix (Surrey), Dymchurch x 3 (Kent), Pilgrim Challenge (Surrey), Quadzilla x 4 (Buckinghamshire), Mill Hill (London), Enigma Good Friday (Buckinghamshire), Wonderland Caucus (Kent), Richmond Park (Surrey)