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50 Marathons in 50 days

By Nicola Smith on December 30, 2020 in News

Mind over matter. Photo: Andrew Abela

21-year-old electrician Nedd Brockmann took up running in 2019 and has recently completed 50 marathons in 50 days. Mr Brockmann used the challenge to support homeless people in Sydney through the Red Cross.
“Connection is so important to me, and I’ve always had a soft spot for homelessness, so that’s what I wanted to support,” Mr Brockmann told The Beast.
His original goal was to raise $50,000 by running 50 marathons in 50 days, but the final figure topped $93,000.
While he said he has always been athletic, Mr Brockmann only ran his first marathon this year. He began the challenge on August 31 and finished the last of his 50 runs on October 19.
“I did a 100 kilometre run to Palm Beach, and then I heard about someone who had done these 50 marathons in 50 days, and I wanted to do that,” he said, “but I thought I’d one-up them by working 7am-3pm as a sparky every day at the same time.”
The challenge wasn’t an easy one, with Mr Brockmann saying he was in pain after the first day. But that wasn’t going to stop him from finishing all 50 marathons.
“I told myself, ‘You’ve set [the challenge], so you’ve got to do it. You’ve got to just bite the bullet and do it’,” he told The Beast.
This attitude served Mr Brockmann well when he tore his hamstring tendon on the twelfth day.
“I kept running – I still had 38 marathons left to run! But it’s amazing, once I was running on a torn tendon, I realised I could keep going. The mind gives up long before the body does, so it’s about keeping that mindset,” Mr Brockmann said.
Most of the marathons were run in Centennial Park, with others run at La Perouse, Narrabeen and on a treadmill. By the end of the challenge, Mr Brockmann had run 310 laps around Centennial Park.
Mr Brockmann received a groundswell of support from the community, meaning he not only passed his fundraising target but also didn’t do a single run alone.
“I started the challenge believing I’d do every run on my own, but people showed up on every run.”
In the last ten days there were about 20 people there each time, on the second last day there were 60, and on his last marathon, 250 people came out to run with him.
On his final run, Mr Brockmann also managed to run a sub-3 marathon, running the distance in 2 hours 53 minutes, a major goal for marathon runners.
All in all, Mr Brockmann ran 2,100 kilometres in this challenge, the equivalent of running from Canberra to Townsville, but he’s hoping to go further next year and run from Perth to Sydney.
The new challenge will involve running 96 kilometres a day for 42 days, almost double what he has run this time.
If he completes this challenge, Mr Brockmann will set a world record, an incredible feat for someone relatively new to long-distance running. For him though, it’s about the mindset more than the experience.
“I’ve really tapped into the ‘never give up’ mindset, and I love taking the body and mind to its extremes and seeing how you deal with it. A lot of people never get to experience that.”
To keep up to date with where Nedd is running next, you can follow his Instagram account at @neddbrockmann.