Former Isle mayor remembers marathon record attempt

Don Stewart, of Epworth, looks at old photographs during his year as mayor. Picture: Andrew Roe
Don Stewart, of Epworth, looks at old photographs during his year as mayor. Picture: Andrew Roe
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Former mayor Don Stewart really did take on a marathon challenge when he attempted to set a new world record.

Back in the summer of 1986, the 72-year-old tried to become the first serving mayor to complete a full marathon while in mayoral dress and chains.

A newspaper clipping from 1987 when Don Stewart, of Epworth, ran a marathon whilst he was mayor of Boothferry. Picture: Andrew Roe

A newspaper clipping from 1987 when Don Stewart, of Epworth, ran a marathon whilst he was mayor of Boothferry. Picture: Andrew Roe

Indeed he did complete the marathon in 12 hours, but his name does not appear in the Guinness Book of World Records.

Mr Stewart, of West End Road, Sandtoft, said: “At the time I was the mayor of Boothferry and I just thought one day I bet no-one has ever done this.

“I had full mayoral clothes and chains on, but I did wear trainers and not my usual shoes.

“It was hard but I managed to do it in the end.

Don Stewart, of Epworth, at the start of his marathon walk in 1986. Picture: Andrew Roe

Don Stewart, of Epworth, at the start of his marathon walk in 1986. Picture: Andrew Roe

“I used to play quite a bit of hockey at the time so that kept me fit and healthy and was good preparation.

“I had two bagpipe players who would go on in front of me to the next village so people knew I was coming.

“The support I had from members of the public was incredible.”

He added: “I told the Guinness World Record people what I had done but they said it wasn’t something that they would be putting in the book.

“In any case it is something I will never forget and we managed to raise quite a bit of money at least.”

Mr Stewart set off on his epic trip from Epworth Leisure Centre at 7.30am and his route took him through Isle towns and villages including Belton, Crowle and Eastoft.

He finished at Spaldington Golf Course in Howden at 7.30pm.

He said: “I remember putting my feet into a hot water foot spa at the course after the marathon and it was such a relief.

“The whole marathon managed to raise £2500 for my own charity, the ‘Don Stewart Sporting Trust’.

“This helped to pay for sporting programmes, such as football coaching schemes, for youngsters across the Isle of Axholme.

“Even today I’m really proud that I did it and happy that so many people supported such a good cause.”

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