Power of Running: Helen Ryvar

At The Great Run Company, we believe in the power of running – our runners share their inspirational stories for taking part in our AJ Bell Great Run series events, whether it be the 10k, half marathon, or 10mile – and it’s clear to see: everyone has a story and reason for running.

Discover some of the amazing stories behind the tens of thousands of runners who line up across our start lines each year.

In our Power of Running campaign, we are bringing to life inspirational stories that highlight the transformative impact running has on individuals and communities in Great Run locations across the UK. There are many reasons for running, but we’ll be particularly emphasising stories of mental health, community, fundraising, and physical fitness.

Helen Ryvar, 43, is running every 2024 AJ Bell Great Run Series half marathon event

Helen Ryvar, 43, of Wrexham, North Wales, is the Guinness World Record Holder for running the most consecutive half marathons, hitting 111 back in 2021 following the sudden death of her ex-husband. But Helen hasn’t stopped there, she’s now trying to break her own record for running the most consecutive half marathons for a female, and as of 29 February 2024, Helen has run 670 consecutive half marathons, with the goal of 1,000 half marathons by January 25 2025.

Helen will be running all of the AJ Bell Great Run series half marathons this year – joining the AJ Bell: Great Birmingham Run, Great Bristol Run, Great Manchester Run, Great North Run, and Great Scottish Run.

Helen Ryvar said: “It’s a little ambitious, it’s not easy by any means. I’m a normal human, now a single parent to three teenage kids. I run my own cleaning business and work full time. I fit these runs in around all of this by running 4:15am – 6:30am weekdays.

“Running has saved me from self-destruction, I’ve built a community, and I’ve raised money for various charities important to me, including Mind, Cancer Research UK, and Nightingale House Hospice in Wrexham.

“I have posted every single run to Facebook, Instagram, and Strava since Day 1, and I’ll continue to do so until I hit my 1,000 milestone, and I’d love to encourage people to get into running as it’s helped me so much.

“Taking part in the Great Run series events will help massively, with motivation, with community and being a part of something bigger, as well as encouraging others to join me. I can’t wait to join the other runners this May in Birmingham, Manchester, and Bristol.”

“The Power of Running has given me connection with my local community, local run clubs. It’s even connected me with famous people. It’s helped keep me fit and healthy and able to do things I never thought possible in the past like run races, get PB’s and even run 50–75-mile ultra races. Running makes me feel great about myself, it helps keep me in a routine and fit and healthy.”


What does the Power of Running mean to you?
Everyone who sets out for a training run or signs up to a Great Run series event is a runner, regardless of finish time, and everyone has their own reason for running. Tell us about your running story and what the Power of Running means to you, and you could feature in our campaign. Submit your story at: https://www.greatrun.org/power-of-running/

Find your Great Run
Take your place on a start line near you. Browse all AJ Bell Great Run Events.