A record-breaking Cotswold athlete has moved a step closer to his mammoth target.

Steve Edwards, from Longborough, between Stow and Moreton, set out to become the first person in the world to run 1000 official marathons in an average finish time of under three and a half hours.

Now the 59-year-old runner has edged ever closer to that target, having completed seven marathons across March and April to take his tally up to 932.

Speaking after the seventh race, he said: "It's great that I've finally managed to get the momentum properly going again with seven races in just eight weeks, something that I've not been able to do since 2019 with Covid lockdowns etc.

“It did take its toll though, quite a few of those races were on testing multi-terrain courses with multiple laps.

“Add to that the faster finish times and the fact they were all just a week apart, it eventually caught up with me at Rickmansworth where I just felt lethargic most of the way round.

“But overall, I'm really pleased with the progress, finishing the year on 950 plus is still a realistic target and my average finish time is still just under 3hrs 20min, so fingers crossed I can stay fit and healthy".

Cotswold Journal: Steve Edwards celebrates a time of 3hrs 33min at the Brighton Marathon, one of his fastest runs for nearly a yearSteve Edwards celebrates a time of 3hrs 33min at the Brighton Marathon, one of his fastest runs for nearly a year

The intense pair of months began on Sunday, March 6, with the Oulton Park Grand Prix marathon, where Edwards achieved a time of 3hrs 38min.

 He followed this up with times of 3hrs 41min at the Enigma Week at the Knees event in Milton Keynes and 3hrs 37min at the Decade Dash 2010’s in Slough.

He finished March with a time of 3hrs 39min in Spring Canal run in Kirkstall, Yorkshire.

Then in April, there was no let up with Edwards clocking 3hrs 32min at the Manchester Marathon on the 3rd and 3hrs 33min at the Brighton Marathon on the 10th, both finish times being his fastest for nearly a year.

He followed this up with a slower 3hrs 49min at the Ricky Races event at Rickmansworth Aquadrome, his slowest time in three years.

The results leaves Edwards' average finish time at 3hrs 19min 58sec, still well inside the sub 3:30 target.

Edwards hopes to achieve his world record target some time in 2024.