Adam Holland, the prolific and eccentric long-distance racer, is to compete in the Baxters Loch Ness marathon on 23 September.
Holland, from Dunsford near Exeter in South Devon, has won more marathons and ultra-marathons than anyone else in Britain. His winning tally recently reached 200 which is the fourth best by any runner in the world – although the 31-year-old still has a bit to go to match the Slovakian Miroslav Krisko, who has 316 wins to his credit.
The Tavistock club member has competed in Europe, the USA and Australia but the Baxters Loch Ness marathon will only be his second race in Scotland and the most northerly he has tackled anywhere in the world.
Holland’s amazing list of accomplishments also includes setting a world record time of 27 hrs 38 min 36 secs for completing 10 marathons in 10 days, achieved at Lake Orta in Italy last August. That’s an impressive average of 2hrs 45min for each one – the ninth time he has successfully completed a 10-in-10 challenge.
Holland’s marathon PB is 2:27:55, set at Paris in 2017, but he hopes to be quicker before 2018 is out.
Holland said: “I‘m really looking forward to competing in the Baxters Loch Ness marathon because it’s one I haven’t done before. I have many friends who have done it and said it’s a good one. I’m always looking for new venues but this one is a long way from home. The only other race I’ve done in Scotland was Edinburgh Marathon quite a few years ago.
“I don’t really train at all as I am racing so much. I have a lot of events between now and Loch Ness including two 10-in-10 marathon challenges. The first is at Bury St Edmunds at the end of June, which I have won for the past five years. I’m also returning to the Lake Orta 10-in10 with the aim of breaking my record.”
Despite his incredibly intensive schedule, Holland doesn’t ever just go through the motions in races and warns he’ll be out to finish as highly as possible at Loch Ness.
He said: “I always look to be competitive in every event I go to. Sometimes I’m tired or a bit achy from a previous event but that can be a help by making sure I don’t start too fast which is a tendency I seem to have.
“I feel I can improve on my best marathon time as I knocked three mins off my previous best half marathon when running 1:09:09 at Crawley recently. I’ll be doing a half marathon the week before Loch Ness, but that’s not too long a race so I should be relatively fresh.”
Holland is clear as to his future objectives, saying: “I have a number of goals. I want to raise money for the Kids Run Free charity and to do that, in 2019, I am attempting to run from John o’Groats to Land’s End and back again. My aim is to take about 17 days going down, which is about 50 miles a day. Then, on the return journey I’m aiming for the record for a one-way run, which is nine days or 98 miles a day. I don’t think anyone has managed the double before, so it’s a big target for me.
“Looking ahead, I just want to try for quicker times in everything I do. I want to do things other people haven’t done and things which people say can’t be done. That’s what motivates me.”
Race director Malcolm Sutherland said: “We’re delighted Adam has chosen to run in our event. He is a remarkable athlete and it will be really interesting to see whether he can add to his amazing tally of wins. Even if he doesn’t, I’m sure he will thoroughly enjoy the race and I’m sure others will be delighted to be running alongside him.”