February 7, 2019 / 12:44 PM / 11 days ago

Briton Gill battles brutal conditions to claim World Marathon title

(Reuters) - British runner Susannah Gill has won the women’s title at the World Marathon Challenge after completing seven marathons in seven days, battling diverse conditions across seven continents.

Gill finished a grueling 295-kilometre (183 miles) challenge in a world record time of 24 hours, 19 minutes and nine seconds, burning up to 5,000 calories a day.

The 34-year-old, who started the remarkable journey with the first round in Antarctica on Jan. 31, ran the final race in Miami on Wednesday in 3:26:24.

“It was a crazy ambition that I wanted to do. The challenge seemed absolutely irresistible to me,” Gill told BBC.

“Ten years ago, I just wanted to get fit and run the London Marathon. Now, marathon running has literally taken me around the world.”

American Mike Wardian claimed the men’s title with a total time of 20:49:30 for seven races.

Competitors gathered for the event in Cape Town on Jan. 29 before traveling to Nova, Antarctica for the first round, where Gill finished second in temperatures as low as -35 degrees Celsius (95 F).

Gill won the next race in Cape Town before battling Australian summer temperatures of around 35 degrees Celsius in Perth to extend her winning run.

Four more victories in Dubai, Madrid, Santiago and Miami capped an incredible week for Gill in which she also spent more than 63 hours flying over 88,500km across the globe.

“The first four marathons I was eating quite well and getting enough calories in, and then marathons five, six and seven I’ve actually been waking myself up because I’ve been so hungry,” Gill added.

“That became a challenge, because I was burning four or five thousand calories a day every day for a week.

“I’ll get back to normal life and put myself back together again because I’m sure I’ll have some aching muscles.”

Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge

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