This month, Rob Young, aka the Marathon Man UK, will start his epic attempt to break the North American trans-continental record by running across the USA faster than anyone else in history: a feat that no other elite endurance athlete has been able to achieve since 1980.
On 14 May, Rob will begin the 3000-odd mile journey in Huntington Beach, CA, and cross the finish line in New York City, NY, less than 46 days, 8 hours and 36 minutes later to break the current Guinness World Record set by Frank Giannino Jr. 36 years ago. To do that, he has to run at least 60 miles per day across 14 states, covering stretches of the Sonoran Desert and two major North American mountain ranges, the Rockies and the Appalachians. It’s a massive challenge even for the most experienced runners, but considering Rob’s record-breaking running successes, the Marathon Man UK stands a serious chance.
Since Rob sprinted onto the marathon scene in April 2014, he’s run more than 500 marathons and ultras, broken two world records in endurance running (for the longest run without sleep and the most number of marathons run in a single year), and won the 2015 Race Across the USA. There’s no doubt that the Marathon Man UK is a remarkable runner, but what’s more impressive than his physical ability is his selfless dedication to helping children in need. Every race, run and record he undertakes is not for fame or glory, but to raise funds and awareness for children’s charities. And this transcontinental crossing is no different.
“To have the opportunity to give back through the God-given gift of running means a lot to me,” Rob says. “It has allowed me to follow my passion of helping the next generation.”
He has selected three children’s charities to benefit from this particular running endeavour: Dreams Come True, the Tyler Robinson Foundation, and the 100 Mile Club.
Dreams Come True account manager Shane Herrington says, “Rob’s achievements are astounding and we are so grateful to have him as one of our ambassadors. He has shown through his achievements that the power of a dream can open up limitless possibilities. The funds raised are so important to our charity, which enables us to achieve our mission, to bring the power of dreams to children and young people with serious and life-limiting conditions. Rob’s achievements have raised tens of thousands of pounds and have helped us fulfil many dreams.”
To help him achieve the Fastest Crossing, Rob’s compression sponsor SKINS has kitted him out in the necessary active and recovery wear he needs to perform along the way, as well as provided him with a designated campervan and SKINS employee to support him on his journey across America.
“SKINS is thrilled to support Rob through this challenge,” says SKINS Chief Marketing Officer Christian Gut. “His achievements over the past couple of years are truly inspirational and we are proud to be associated with such a driven and passionate athlete. If anyone can beat the current record, it’s the Marathon Man UK, and we’ll be cheering him on from start to finish.”
How can you get involved?
Help raise awareness by running with Rob. Follow the live tracker to see when he’ll be passing through your town and gather a crowd to cheer him on or join him for a jog. Share your experience on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram using the hashtags #RunwithRob, #marathonmanUK, #fastestcrossingUSA and #TeamSKINS.
You can also contribute to his cause by raising funds for children in need. Donate money directly or buy any SKINS garment through skins.net using the discount code RunwithRob and SKINS will donate 10% of every purchase to Rob’s chosen charities.
To encourage anyone and everyone to get involved, Rob says, “In the words of the great ultra runner Lisa Smith-Batchen, ‘Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much,’ so please come with us and let’s make a change together!”