A PERSONAL trainer has set a world record for running 36 marathons in 36 days – despite being told she wouldn’t live past 16 after a cystic fibrosis diagnosis.

Sophie Holmes, 32, embarked on the challenge last month after completing the London Marathon and completed her 36th marathon in Edinburgh on Saturday.

The Shoebury resident is now the world record holder for the most consecutive marathons run by a female with cystic fibrosis.

Guinness World Records have confirmed her achievement and she will receive a certificate in coming weeks.

Sophie was born with cystic fibrosis – a hereditary disorder which impacts sufferers lungs and digestive system – but has beaten the odds ever since.

She said: “It feels surreal that the challenge is done. I have completed it and I have got the world record.

“There were ups and downs, particularly in the first 12 days where the adaptation phase happens. I wasn’t sleeping well and I was never going to give up but I was most a risk there.

“The challenge is something I wanted to do for so long and something I knew I could push myself to do mentally and physically.

“I promised myself that I could do it and that it would provide inspiration for people around the world who are facing hard times.

“You can achieve these huge goals you set yourself and doing the challenge pushed me to grow. The easy way out is always there. I had to make myself do it.

“In the last week, it took a real positive turn though. I told myself it was fun, that I would be fine and ran some marathons in sub-four hours.”

Sophie has also raised £25,500 for the Cystic Fibrosis Trust organisation as a thank you for support received through her life.

Despite completing the huge challenge, Sophie is already thinking “how many more can I do?”.

After taking some time to recover, she is setting her sights on running the New York Marathon at the end of the year.

“It has been an incredible experience,” she added. “I had so much support in the community, people shouting and bibbing their horns and cheering.

“I would always have someone cheering me on.”

Anne Shinkwin, Director of Fundraising at Cystic Fibrosis Trust, said "Sophie's dedication to raising awareness of cystic fibrosis and raising money for the trust is incredible and we are so grateful for her support. It's amazing fundraisers like Sophie that make our work possible, to ensure everyone with cystic fibrosis can live a life without limits.”

Visit 2024tcslondonmarathon.enthuse.com/pf/sophie-grace-holmes