Edinburgh schooboy, 11, sets sights on beating world record after running every day in 2023

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Seb has run through gales, ice and rain storms and braved scorching temperatures in France.

An Edinburgh schoolboy who has run at least 3k every day in all weathers has said he will ‘not stop’ and pledged to try to beat a world record.

Back on January 1 this year, Seb Jellema accompanied mum Claire and dad Nick on their traditional family New Year’s Day run. Eleven-year-old Seb, who is a pupil at South Morningside Primary, set a resolution to run at least 3k every day of 2023. But not only has he stayed the course he has pushed himself through challenges including scorching temperatures in France – and has even stuck to his goal when he was sick.

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Sporty Seb completed his first 5k race on the Archerfield Estate, East Lothian, aged four. Now Seb, who is named after Olympic runner Seb Coe, is on a mission to break a world record for running, inspired by Ron Hill who ran every day for 52 years and 39 days until 2017 when he was 78. Determined Seb has set his sights on beating the feat.

Seb with mum Claire, Dad Nick, and brother Max, 9Seb with mum Claire, Dad Nick, and brother Max, 9
Seb with mum Claire, Dad Nick, and brother Max, 9

His proud mum Claire said: “Seb has been so committed to running through all the ice and darkness, all the gales and rain storms across the year, running in minus temperatures and when camping in France. When he first started we thought he’d get bored of it. But he is just so determined. Me and my husband go running and if we plan ahead it can be easy to find an excuse or talk ourselves out of it. But not Seb.

“For his birthday in August he decided he wanted to have a try at running the ‘Seven Hills of Edinburgh’ route and on his first attempt completed the full 24km loop, one Friday afternoon after school in just a few hours. He has run when poorly too, but never once grumbled about going out.

“Seb doesn’t realise how huge it is what he has done with keeping going with this challenge because he has enjoyed doing it. He loves fresh air, and being outside every day and says that it helps him deal with any worry and stress. He’s a sporty boy, who does lots of other activities such as football, hockey and tennis, but he always plans in time for his running. He really enjoys running at the beach.”

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Through the challenge his family said Seb has become much more self-confident. “We have been truly amazed by his relentless motivation, enthusiasm and determination.”

Seb, 11 with his running companion AlbieSeb, 11 with his running companion Albie
Seb, 11 with his running companion Albie

"He was recently diagnosed with dyslexia and his confidence dropped. Since he's taken on this challenge we’ve seen his confidence come back. We see him being organised, responsible, committed and achieving his goal. It’s given him a mindset of let’s give it a go and we see him put that to other parts of his life now too. It’s also great to get that quality time with him on the runs. We get more chat with him when he's on a run than if we're at home where there’s other distractions.”

The primary school teacher added: "He loves going out, he loves the challenge and he loves that he is raising money and supporting charities. By day 320 he had run almost 1200km raising around £1,400. More than £2,000 raised so far will be shared between Kids Love Clothes and the Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.”

Claire added: “We’ll do our traditional family new years run again this year. But Seb isn’t going to stop. He says he will keep this up and try to beat the run streak world record. I’m so proud of him. He’s definitely got it in him!”

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