Guinness World Record: Half marathon running streak

·3-min read

Welsh runner Helen Ryvar is on course to run 150 consecutive half marathons after beating her own Guinness World Record of 111.

The single mother of three has run 127 half marathons in a row to date, getting up at 4am each day to fit them in before she starts work as a cleaner.

She is running to raise money for Mind, following the sudden death of her ex-husband in 2020.

Ryvar began running following the breakdown of her marriage, inspired by her sister who was training for the GB rowing squad. She lost four stone and moved back to Wales to be near family.

'My ex-husband was a manic depressive and alcoholic. He suffered from lots of mental health issues. At my lowest, he started to gaslight me and I became very unwell and ballooned to over 17 stone.'

Running helped the now 42-year-old to take control back. But as she began to put the pieces of her life back together, tragedy struck.

In early 2020 her ex-husband died unexpectedly, just before the lockdown hit the UK.

Despite their turbulent marriage, Ryvar said it was a huge shock, leaving her kids devastated. She took up running again to focus her energy on something positive and stay strong for her children.

Ryvar began running or walking short distances everyday and by February 2021 embarked on a 28-day challenge to run a half marathon every day.

She enjoyed it so much she continued the streak and by April realised she could break the women's Guinness World Record of 75 consecutive half marathons.

By May 2021, she had set a new record of 111.

Earlier this year, Ryvar was contacted by Mika Shevit in the US who is attempting to break the men's half marathon streak by reaching 500.

'He asked if I would streak with him. I said yes, and here we are. This time I wanted to do it for charity. Although I didn’t use Mind when I was at my lowest, I know health starts in the mind and having had years of counselling I know it’s important for people to know there is help out there, so I wanted to support them.'

Ryvar, who lives in a village outside Wrexham, began her second record attempt in April and by August 20 2022 had broken her own streak. She runs different routes each day on road and trail to keep herself motivated.

If she remains injury-free, she will reach 150 consecutive half marathons in just over three week's time.

'As well as raising vital funds, I want to remain fit and healthy for my children who are now aged 13 and 16. Running helps keep my body and mind healthy, and it fits in with my lifestyle perfectly. Sadly my father passed away during the current streak after long-term illness, and I promised him I’d run 150 for him too.'

Ryvar is charting the daily half marathons via her Facebook page and is raising funds for Mind through JustGiving in memory of her ex husband Julian Fernandes.

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