22 Marathons in 22 months – A report of an amazing experience

Having completed 22 Marathons in 22 months, I am highly grateful for all your great support for my challenge of running 30 Marathons in 30 months in order to promote the 30km/h speed limit in cities.

An effort that with your continuous support has made a significant contribution to raising awareness of both society and the Authorities for a better quality of life in cities, with calm driving for safe, healthy and green trips for all city travellers. More and more cities in Europe choose slower speeds and respect of pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists and I am highly delighted to contribute to this new better reality.

On the website of my challenge, you can follow all key resources on cities with 30km/h speed limit: https://georgeruns30x30.com/resources/, as well as my various interventions at media: https://georgeruns30x30.com/media/

I have already successfully completed 22 Marathons in 22 months, all sub 4-hours, and there are 8 remaining marathons before I complete my challenge in November 2024 at the Athens Marathon, God willing.

It was an amazing experience with unprecedented adjustments of body, mind and soul. I realized early that I had no choice but to cope with faith and system (and thankfully enough luck), with all kinds of difficulties, which were not few.

I started with the 1st mountain Marathon in Zagori, 2,600 meters of uphill and downhill, an experience clearly beyond my body limits, with a serious problem on my back, already from kilometre 13th but with absolute patience, concentration and faith to finish, marking my determination for the next 29 Marathons.

The nice runs with the unique holiday friends in summer 2022 led me to run in six weeks, cool and fast, three beautiful Marathons in Helsinki, Antwerp and London, with my fastest time of 3 hours and 31 minutes.

In the 5th Marathon in Athens, I had my share of bad luck, stumbling in kilometre 5, and running the remaining 37 kilometres in very high pain, learning afterwards that I had a fracture in the germ of the 5th metatarsal in my foot. And in order not to miss my Marathons’ timeline, I ran three weeks later in Valencia in even more pain, finishing only thanks to the support of our beloved team runners.

I was forced to stop and rest for 10 weeks and, as a result, I started the Spring 2023 Marathons quite unprepared, with extra kilos and a problem at my back, struggling to find my pace in Malta, Rome (where I couldn’t even walk at the start because of my back), Paris, Belgrade, Copenhagen, Stockholm and Apeldoorn (7 marathons in 4 months), all of them close to 3 hours and 55 minutes and finishing the difficult Stockholm Marathon just 1 minute before 4 hours.

Taking 10 weeks off from racing and training with the fantastic summer company, together with the body adjustments after the first 13 marathons, has allowed me to run the Fall Marathons a little more comfortably and quickly, almost all under 3 hours and 50 minutes, in Tallinn, Brussels, Lyon, Athens (with a new season’s best performance on this difficult course), Florence, Nicosia and Dubai (again 7 marathons in 4 months). Only in the uphill Brussels Marathon I had a bit of difficulty starting with a fever, which I wiped out by running with the joy of having my two brothers waiting for me at the finish line.

With six weeks of winter rest and training, I have restarted two beautiful and fast Marathons in Seville and Barcelona and I am preparing for the next 8 Marathons until Athens in November, where I expect you to be on the course for support 😊. Your support especially in these last and hardest months of the challenge is crucial and I am grateful to you.

The 22 Marathons has been a fantastic experience that I was lucky to live through. With respect and creative fear in every step, every mile, every Marathon, knowing that trouble lurks, especially when we rejoice and relax 😊. But also, with immense joy at every mile, among happy runners, enthusiastic fans and unique moments of ecstasy and excitement at every start, every finish and every beautiful place, only part of which can be captured in photos 😊.

I am very fortunate to have your great support at this very complex effort, with special thanks to my wife Vali, my children, my unique friends and fellow runners of the weekends, the summer, the day-and-night training sessions, the whole fantastic Polias Runners team, the Training Team of Nikos Polias, the Physiotherapist Kostas Koulidis, the Orthopaedic Surgeon John Triantafyllopoulos and of course all the excellent colleagues of our NTUA Road Safety Observatory who persist on scientific evidence of calm driving necessity.

I was also very fortunate and honoured to have the active support of the National Technical University of Athens and several key International Organisations: ETSC, POLIS, ECTRI, UITP, FERSI, FEHRL, ERF, IRF, ECF, WALK21 and HITE, with which we join forces promoting city-wide 30km/h speed limit as a key policy for healthy and sustainable cities.

I continue carefully, constantly seeking the right mix of fatigue – rest in training and Marathons and at the same time insisting with all my strength on promoting the 30km/h speed limit in all cities.

You can follow my challenge on the websites:






Every encouragement, every like, every comment, every message gives me strength to continue and I am very grateful to you. And of course, I need your support and I look forward to seeing you on Sunday 10 November 2024 along the Athens Marathon route for the beautiful 30th Marathon.

By | 2024-04-03T10:15:54+00:00 April 1st, 2024|Categories: General|

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