Is Milton Keynes man Britain’s fittest 60-year-old?
A man who started running as a schoolboy to escape bullies has now completed up the equivalent of running, swimming and cycling ten times round the world.
Mark Kleanthous has clocked up a staggering 265,000 miles during his 40 years of sporting achievements.
And his achievements could earn him the accolade of the fittest 60-year-old in Britain.
Mark, who lives in Milton Keynes, credits his more recent extraordinary achievements to BLACKCURRANTS.
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He takes a superfood supplement called CurraNZ, which is made with blackcurrants grown in New Zealand under intense UV light is said to produce unusually high levels of protective and health-giving nutrients.
"They make everything smoother for me, whether that’s running, swimming or cycling. I find my recovery from muscle soreness is much faster when I take them," he said./
Mark began running to school and back when he was just 10-years-old - to escape the bullies on his school bus who were tormenting him following his dad's death.
The sad beginning led to him competing in more 1,200 races worldwide.
He has taken part in over 500 triathlons globally since 1983, including an iron distance triathlon (140.6 miles of swimming, cycling and running) every year for 36 years as well as a 24-hour-non-stop running race.
Mark was the first Briton to complete a double Iron Distance Triathlon in under 24 hours - a huge achievement that demands a 4.8-mile swim, a 224-mile bike ride and a 52-mile run.
Haield as a 'living legend', he has also notched up 42 Ironman events, more than 100 marathons - 71 of them completed in under three hours - countless double marathons, 1,000 push ups in 28 minutes and 41 seconds, plus scores of other sporting challenges
“I believe I’m one of only five Britons to have done a triple Iron Distance Triathlon,” he said.
“That involves a seven and a half mile swim which is continuous, then straight on a bike for 336 miles and then getting off the bike and then running a triple marathon. It took me 45 hours and 58 minutes and 39 gruelling seconds!! in total..
“Afterwards I felt amazing and great for about six hours because I could stop moving. After that and once the natural endorphins wore off I stiffened up and could hardly walk. I had to go down the stairs backwards because my quads were rock solid, then I wanted to start moving again!”
Last Christmas Mark clocked up his 40th Christmas Day run while the majority of the nation were busy tucking into their turkey dinners.
He has trained some of the nation’s best known athletes including endurance adventurer Sean Conway. And his mantra is:"You have one life and you have to live it."
It was September 1970 when Mark lost his father, who died as a result of an unexpected heart attack aged just 53.
“Looking back, the bullies knew I had no dad so they chose me as an easy target on the school bus,” he said.
“So I avoided the bus and started running to and from school. It was exactly two miles to school and sometimes I would run home at lunchtime and back to see my mum who was grieving for my father.”
Later this year Mark will celebrate his landmark 60th birthday and reckons he is fitter than ever. He readily beats his running partner who's 20 years his junior.
He aims to celebrate with a huge sporting challenge - a German triathlon race he is aiming to complete in 10 hours 59 minutes with the help of CurraNZ.
The blackcurrants in the supplement are said to have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and blood flow-promoting properties. The key ingredients are anthocyanins, which are pigments in the fruit's skin responsible for their dark purple colouring.
He is urging other people of all ages to get fit and spend less time in front of computer screens.
He said: “I exercise every day. I feel really motivated to do that now. The human body is so important, so look after it.
A lot of people don’t get outside anymore. They physically are not getting outside and not getting vitamin D and enough sunlight. Spend less time on digital devices - existing in the virtual world - and more time enjoying and living in the real world.”