Somewhere among the 36,000 runners at the starting line of the Boston Marathon will be an Australian in a caped superhero suit, a big smile on his face and an amazing story to tell.
Trent Morrow, a 40-year-old former chubby sales executive from Bondi Beach, will be competing in his 165th marathon in the past 365 days.
Yes, that’s correct.
If Morrow completes the 42.195km Boston course on Monday it will be his 200th marathon since January 1, 2013.
He holds the Guinness World Record for most marathons in a year, across all seven continents, including trudging through snow and ice in just under six hours at last month’s Antarctica Marathon on King George Island.
Morrow doesn’t have sponsors or a manager.
He travels the world alone.
He runs in a trademarked Marathon Man superhero outfit, had his passport robbed in Belgium and has wracked up a horrible debt while embarking on the global crusade to honour his late mother and stepmother, and inspire others.
“People may have run more or travelled across seven continents quicker, but no one has ever run as many marathons across seven continents in a one-year period before,” Morrow told AAP just minutes after completing a marathon at Winnsboro, Louisiana, on Wednesday said.
“It has been a big journey, a big adventure with a real purpose behind it to achieve.
“I’ll be very proud to cross that finish line in Boston.”
Morrow transformed from couch potato-desk jockey to Marathon Man in 2006 when he attended a christening for a niece and posed for a family photo.
When he looked at the photo he saw a bloated man focused on his career, not his health.
He shed 30kg through exercise and diet, ran a City2Surf and in 2008 completed the 250km Toughest Footrace on Earth across the Sahara Desert in 50C heat.
To get a snapshot of Morrow’s life, take the past week.
“I’ve just finished five marathons in five US states in five days,” Morrow said.
To get to each marathon he drove a rental car.
He finished a marathon in Raleigh, North Carolina, on Sunday then drove 16 hours overnight to Carlton, Arkansas.
“I arrived at 5.30am and the race started at 7am,” he said.
His legs are in better shape than his bank balance.
Morrow is often forced to rely on the generosity of others he meets along the way, read about him in the media or connect with on his “Marathon Man” website and Facebook page.
“I’m in a really tough situation right at the moment in terms of credit card debt,” he said.
“I don’t have any money.
“I don’t even have a credit card at the moment.
“I had to get help in terms of renting this car.”
Morrow is inspired by his mother Kay who lost her battle with colon cancer in 1993, and his stepmother Carol who died last year from lung cancer.
“I believe anyone can run a marathon if you set your mind to it,” he said.
“Running has changed my life and I think it could have an impact on so many others.”
In Boston, a year after three people were killed and 264 others were injured after two bombs ripped through spectators and runners near the finish line, Morrow’s long journey will end.
“It will be a special occasion for so many, and in many ways it will be a perfect finish line and symbolic of the journey I have been on personally,” he said.
He will return to Australia, write a book about his experience and maybe do some public speaking.
But, before he lands in Boston for marathon number 200, he has one more thing to do.
Morrow will run his 199th marathon in Kentucky on Saturday before embarking on the long, solo drive north-east to Boston for the finale.