What questions would you ask a 900+marathon runner?

What questions would you ask a 900+marathon runner?

20th February 2017 2 By Biggsy
Reading Time: 4 minutes

Last Updated on 24th July 2020

I know a marathon runner who’s now run over 900 of them (as of September 2018) and that person’s my dad Roger. He’s been doing this week in, week out since the mid 80s, so I’ve grown up thinking that running a marathon most weekends is a perfectly normal thing for a dad to do. No different to other fathers playing a round of golf every Sunday morning. However I’m assuming a lot of people might suggest running 1 marathon, let alone 900 is actually a completely ABNORMAL thing to be doing! 🙂

My friend Virginia wrote a post about inspiring individuals back in 2015, asking him some questions on his achievements so I wanted to ask him 24 different questions this time round:

Marathon runner Roger Biggs
Marathon runner Roger Biggs celebrating his 800th marathon in Pisa

1. Favourite marathon out of all the ones you’ve done and why?

That’s a hard one, but how about my best marathon trip, which was Tokyo and Sasayama marathons, plus riding the bullet train & seeing Hiroshima.

Sasayama Marathon 2010
Sasayama Marathon 2010. Source.

2. Favourite marathon course and why?

London takes some beating! (although he did inspire some of the pointers in my 26.2 tips for running the New York Marathon post)

3. Which marathon has so far eluded you? And why?

Nunavut. It’s the newest of the Canadian Territories. It’s rather expensive, but I hope to complete the 13 Canadian Provinces in 2018. Better start saving!

Runners finishing the Nunavut Marathon. Source: http://northwestpassage2011.blogspot.co.uk
Runners finishing the Nunavut Marathon. Source.

4. Quirkiest medal? Which marathon?

The Donegal Quadrathon. 4 medals that fix together.

The four medals of the Quadrathon marathons. Image from http://www.extremenorthevents.com/quadrathon-4-half-full-marathons/
The four medals of the Quadrathon marathons. Source.

5. What do you do with all your marathon medals?

Put them in boxes. Would be nice to find time to display some of them.

6. Top “newbie” marathon runner tip?


7. Top “long-timer” marathon runner tip?

Don’t ignore the injuries.

8. What do you still forget to do, or do wrong?


9. How old was the youngest/oldest person to join the ‘100 Marathon Club’?

Around 23 & 65.

10. Who’s run the most marathons and how many?

A German has claimed over 2,000, I think he’s approaching 2,500. The highest verified from the UK is Brian Mills with 1,250 (as of February 2017).

UK's Brian Mills has run 1,250 marathons
UK’s Brian Mills has run 1,250 marathons. Source.

11. How many have you done now?

913 (as of August 2019) including “ultras”.

12. What’s actually your favourite race distance and why?

Based on my times, I would say Half Marathon. I ran 1:21, but never beat 3hrs for a marathon.

13. Why do you do all these marathons? The travelling aspect?

I like to go to as many places as possible. Running different Countries/States/Counties is what it’s all about. If you have been there you have an opinion of the place.

14. What do you get from running a city that you don’t get from normal sightseeing?


15. What’s a good marathon for a first timer?

If by “good” you mean “fast” then Abingdon, Manchester, Dublin, Milton Keynes or Nice.

16. Do you have a “go to” pre-marathon meal?

I just go for pasta the night before.

17. How do you keep your mojo going after so many decades?


18. How much did the first marathon cost and how were was it?

It was the Stevenage Marathon, September 1984 … and cost just £5.50.

19. Have you done a marathon with a name that starts with each letter of the alphabet?

If including the sponsor name, then yes, otherwise I haven’t done one beginning one with the letter ‘X’. The ‘XNRG Pilgrim Challenge‘ is strictly speaking the ‘Pilgrim Challenge’.

20. Do you have a full chronological list of all your marathons?

This handy website at Marathon Maniacs shows all my races.

21. What was the worse marathon and why?

For me the Snowdonia Marathon. Increased off road section, cold, wet and nobody looking after you.
[Editor – but you can give it a try on a nice, sunny day and absolutely love it!]

22. Do you prefer running with a pacer or just doing your own thing?

I don’t mind, although I usually break off at some point. Peter Sibbitt took me round a 20 mile race, which helped me to smash my PB.

23. Have you tried barefoot running?


24. What’s your favourite post-race treat?

Fish ‘n’ chips from a proper shop.

So these are some questions of the questions I’d been wanting to ask him for a while 🙂 He was also featured in the first chapter of a book called ‘Running Crazy‘ which you can buy from Amazon below.

What questions would you want to ask him? 🙂

Have you now got the taste for doing a marathon? If so check out all the great tips on Hobby Help’s guide to running your first marathon.

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