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Duo smash record with 106 marathons

Words by Smiley Team

A pair of personal trainers from Aboyne, in Aberdeenshire, completed the toughest challenge of their lives on 4 June as they completed their 106th marathon in 106 days.

It’s all in support of the Motor Neurone Disease (MND) Association and Macmillan Cancer Support – two charities close to their hearts.

Fay Cunningham, 35, and Emma Petrie, 26, set out on 19 February to attempt to complete 100 marathons in 100 days and break the world record. They have since been forced to up their total to 106 consecutive runs as another runner completed 104 marathons last month, which increased the target to beat.

The pair, who share a love of fitness and the outdoors, hope to raise £100,000 in memory of Fay’s father, Alan who died of MND, and Emma’s mum, Jan who died of cancer.

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“We’re both very much aware of how short life can be and the ability to run or walk doesn’t always stay with you forever," said Fay. "Before our parents’ respective illnesses, they were fit, active people and were instrumental in who we are today.”

“There have been two unverified attempts on the world record for the most consecutive marathons run by a female so we decided to ensure we would break the record by adding six more marathons to get to 106 marathons in 106 days.

"At first we couldn’t get our head around doing any more than 100 but once we had the time to think about it, we have seen it as a huge positive to hit 100 marathons and to keep going. We wanted to inspire people to do something big and this just makes our challenge even bigger.”

Emma added: “This journey has taught us that the body is incredible and our message of ‘do it while you can’ helped us push through each day knowing we have the opportunity to do this.”

Inspired to act?

DONATE: To support Fay and Emma’s fundraising efforts, visit

SUPPORT: For more information about MND and the MND Association, visit and for Macmillan Cancer Support:

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