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    CurraNZ hailed as secret to longevity for 63-year-old racing his 120th marathon

    on April 17, 2024

    Mark Kleanthous, Britain’s fittest 63-year-old, is hailing blackcurrant extract for helping him reach the start line of his 120th marathon in London’s showpiece this weekend.

    Mark ran in the inaugural London Marathon in 1981, and is just one of a select group – mostly in their 80s - still taking part in the race.

    Now in his early 60s, he is vowing to be the last man to be taking part in the event in years to come.

    Astonishingly, the age-defying 63-year-old expects to finish Saturday’s event in around four hours, just one hour within the time he set in 1981 (3 hours and 3 minutes). It will be his first time in the race this century, after last taking part in 1999.

    The multi-sport endurance athlete and coach has put over 280,000 miles on the clock in his lifetime, equivalent to swimming, biking and running 11 times around the world.

    Over the past decade, he has come to rely on blackcurrant extract from New Zealand, which is used by some of the world’s leading ultra-endurance runners and Premier League football teams.

    He believes the supplement has allowed him to maintain peak performance against younger rivals, at a time when most athletes have retired from competitive running and triathlon.

    Injury has also hampered his preparation, with a serious hamstring tear in October forcing him onto crutches for eight weeks. However, he has staged a remarkable recovery after 11 weeks without running, and believes he’ll be slowing less than other runners at the end of the marathon, thanks to the supplement.

    Mark says: “As a competitor of 1,350 events since 1980, and having coached thousands of athletes, I know what works and what doesn’t. I’ve tested blackcurrant extract extensively in training and competition over the years and there’s no question it helps stop fatigue and makes me recover more quickly.

    “I can race harder than my competition and would rather run a marathon without breakfast than not have my blackcurrant extract before the race.”

    The berry from New Zealand is renowned for its exceptionally high levels of anthocyanins and polyphenols. These bioactive compounds have been proven in dozens of British studies and is used by some of the world’s leading athletes and ultra-runners.

    Mark says: “I’ve covered more than 14,000 miles of swimming, 201,000 miles of cycling and 65,000 miles of running, equivalent to completing the distance to the moon 2.5 times.

    “New Zealand blackcurrant extract may not have powered me for all those
    miles/kilometres, but it is certainly making my third trip to the moon much easier on my aging 62-year-old body.”