Harrier ‘Marathon Man’ Mark runs rings around his home

Hornsea Harriers

HORNSEA’S ‘Marathon Man’ Mark Williamson celebrated his 50th birthday in style this week by completing his 43rd marathon by running mile loops around his home. Double Guinness World Record holder Mark had planned to complete a 55-mile ultramarathon from Guisborough to Helmsley in the North York Moors as part of his birthday weekend before COVID-19 sent Britain into lockdown. So, Mark, a member of Hornsea Harriers, mapped out the mile route around his home near the seafront in line with the Government’s recommendations for exercise and ran it 26.2 times as fellow Harriers and friends lent their support along the route - at the safe two-metre distance. Wife Clair and daughters Macy and Ella - and fellow Harrier and birthday girl Wendy Taylor, recent winner of the People’s Choice Award for her services to the community of Hornsea after 25 years’ service to the Red Cross - were there to cheer Mark over their home-made finish line in three hours, 18 minutes and 45 seconds. Mark said: “I had planned on running Hardmoors 55 on the weekend of my 50th but it was called off. I will get to do it still, it’s just delayed, that’s all. “This was my way of making sure I still ran a marathon on my birthday.” Mark started running in 2006 and his first race was the London Marathon, raising money for the children’s heart surgery ward at Leeds, after daughter Macy was diagnosed with dextrocardia, meaning her heart was on the wrong side. Since then, he has completed 42, including a subthree-hour marathon when he crossed the finishing line
at the Manchester Marathon in 2 hrs 56 minutes and 56 seconds in 2017. “I can still hear fellow Hornsea Harrier Claire Spear cheering me in now,” he said. Mark holds the Guinness World Record for the fastest marathon dressed as a telephone box when he ran the Hull Marathon in 2017 in four hours six minutes and 37 seconds. He was also part of the Harriers’ winning Guinness World Record attempt as the fastest marathon in a fourperson costume when he joined Liz Hardy, Stephen Braddock and Peter Cork to run Hull Marathon dressed as a caterpillar in four hours three minutes and 18 seconds in 2018. When asked to pick his favourite marathon, Mark said: “I’ve got a few to choose from, including my first subthree and achieving the world record.
“But it has to be with wifey on her last marathon when she got a sub-four hour and Good for Age time at London. “The best part of any marathon is when you’re half a mile from the finish and you know you’ve achieved what you set out to do. Running that last half mile is euphoric. “And there’s isn’t really a worst part for me – unless you count queuing for the toilet at the more popular marathons.” Mark, who shares his birthday with fellow Harrier Wendy Taylor, remains upbeat about his running plans once the lockdown is lifted and racing resumes. “I’ll carry on regardless,” he said. “With all the postponements, I now have five marathons on consecutive weeks with a Guinness record attempt in London and the last one being Hardmoors 55. I’ll just take it a step at a time.”