A MARATHON record holder is looking forward to lacing up his running shoes for the 782nd time at a new event in Dorchester.

Steve Edwards, 54, is set to take part in the inaugural Dorchester Marathon, which is to be held on Sunday, May 28.

The multi marathon runner, from north Gloucestershire, is one of an expected 1,800 runners who will be coming from far and wide to take part in the full marathon or half marathon.

Steve is hoping the Dorchester Marathon will be another step in his goal to completing 800 marathons in the fastest average finish time, a landmark he hopes to achieve later in the year.

He said: "I ran my first ever marathon back in 1981 at the age of 18 and although vowing ‘never again’, I’ve since managed to run 766 official marathon races in an average finish time of three hours 17 minutes for each."

The achievement makes Steve one of the most successful multi marathon runners in the world today.

Dorchester will be Steve’s 782nd marathon and he’s looking forward to running a brand new course.

He said: "It sounds like the route takes in some stunning countryside through Dorset villages and I’m looking forward to the challenge of running a course that has not been tackled before."

Steve's records include being the youngest person to run both 100 and 200 marathons, running the most official marathons in a single year and, in recent years, setting landmark records for reaching 500, 600 and 700 marathons in the fastest average finish time.

He was the first, and still the only, person in the world to complete 500 and later, 600 marathon finishes in under three hours 30 minutes.

The Dorchester Marathon is being organised jointly by Casterbridge Rotary and White Star Running.

Andy Palmer, who owns White Star Running, said: "We are very proud to have Steve running in our event.

"He’s the UK’s finest long distance runner and he’s achieved great things.

"I’m very glad that Dorchester Marathon will feature in his list of events."

To sign up to join Steve at the Dorchester Marathon visit dorchestermarathon.co.uk