FOR THE RECORD

Runner's World (UK) - - LONDON CALLING - @Howarthkev Vir­gin­money­giv­ing.com/ kevhowarth

KEVIN HOWARTH ‘ In June 2015, I stum­bled across an ar­ti­cle about an Amer­i­can who had run that year’s Lon­don Marathon drib­bling two bas­ket­balls. He set a world record of 4:10:44. As some­one who’s played a lot of bas­ket­ball over the years and is now into run­ning I found my­self think­ing, ‘ That ain't so fast…’ And I couldn’t stand by and let an Amer­i­can hold a record I be­lieved I could beat in my own back yard! So I ap­plied to Guin­ness and my 18-month train­ing pro­gramme be­gan. It’s been a mix of nor­mal runs to build stamina and prac­tice runs to im­prove my ball con­trol. I’ve prac­tised in gust­ing wind, hot sun, driv­ing rain and even made my hands bleed (I have softer balls now). I get a few heck­lers when I’m out train­ing. My favourite was from some cheeky foot­ballers who called out “Oi, mate! Have you got the time!” I’ve now run five half marathons with the balls, with a PB of 1:56:39. Ev­ery­thing is fall­ing into place now: 26.2 miles, two bas­ket­balls, one goal: 4:10:43.’

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