6 Record Holders Who Rule
Some of us can't fathom running a single marathon, let alone running a 26.2-mile race every day for an entire year. But that's what Belgian Stefaan Engels did to set a world record for running and finishing 365 marathons in 365 days.
Engels, 49, completed his final race on Feb. 5 in Barcelona. He ran a total of 9,563 miles in seven countries: Spain, Portugal, Belgium, Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom and the United States.
"I wanted to inspire people by showing that if I could run a marathon a day for an entire year, that anyone could run or bike a little each day or do something about their weight problem," he tells CBS News.
This was Engels' second attempt at the yearlong marathon goal; he previously tried a year ago but injured his leg 18 days into the effort and had to stop.
The CBS report notes that Engels was diagnosed with asthma as a child and, even though doctors advised him not to participate in sports, he overcame his physical limitations and ran his first marathon at 25.
His recent feat isn't Engels' only entry in the Guinness Book of World Records. He also holds the record for completing 20 IronMan triathlons in a single year, which he accomplished in 2008.
Speaking of exceptional athletes, here are five more world record-holders in the news -- all of them over 50.
1. Aleksander DobaDoba, a 64-year-old native of Poland, recently completed a solo trans-Atlantic kayak trip from Senegal to Brazil in 98 days, 23 hours, 42 minutes, according to Wired Magazine. A seasoned white-water kayaker, Doba traveled 3,320 miles. His trip is believed to be the longest open-water crossing by a kayaker, according to Canoe & Kayak. Doba survived on dehydrated food, fish and rainwater. He even tweeted about his trip along the way. Read more about Doba's journey in this Adventure Journal article.
2. Olga KotelkoThe New York Times recently featured 91-year-old Kotelko, who competes in masters-level track and field events. She holds more that 30 world records in her age group (90-94), according to World Masters Athletics, the governing body for masters track and field competitions worldwide. The Montreal Gazette notes that Kotelko didn't start exercising until age 70. She tried different sports before realizing her throwing skills and running ability made her a natural for track and field. She competes in the long jump, triple jump, high jump, shot put, discus, javelin, weight throw and relay sprints. Check out Kotelko in action in this video.
3. Ray MoonMoon is 82 and holds the Guinness Book of World Records title as the world's oldest bodybuilder, Reuters reports. He says he started training in 2003 "to sort out his troubled mind" after his business failed. Moon, who has overcome polio, prostate problems and open-heart surgery, has won five Victorian and Australian bodybuilding competitions. Watch a YouTube video of him appearing on an Australian talk show.
4. Jeanne StawieckiAt 60, Stawiecki boasts two entries in the Guinness Book of World Records. After taking up mountain climbing at 52 (and quitting smoking two packs of cigarettes a day), Stawiecki successfully climbed Mount Everest at 56 in 2007, Runner's World reports. She became the first woman to complete the "Seven Summits," the highest mountains on each continent. Stawiecki also holds the title for having the fastest aggregate time for a woman to complete marathons on all seven continents. Read more about Stawiecki at her website, Seven in 2007.
5. Dorothy de LowDe Low made it into the Guinness Book of World Records as the world's oldest table tennis player, NewsComAu reports. De Low is 100 and took part in the 15th World Veterans Table Tennis Championships in China in 2010. She was the oldest of 2,000 competitors. A native of Australia, she started playing at 50. Watch her in this Reuters video.
Read more: Six Extreme Competitors Who Raise the Bar
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