In September 2016 I visited Rushmoor parkrun and went for a bit of a run after with the amazing Ben Smith of 401 Challenge fame. I ended up running a marathon that day, I hadn’t intended to, I had only intended to run about 18 miles in total as I was building up to the Portsmouth Coastal Marathon in December that year and that was what was in my training plan. One thing led to another and I ended up completing Marathon distance and loving every minute of it.
The following week I went to visit Salisbury parkrun, knowing Ben was starting that days 401 Marathon from there, with the intention of maybe doing a few miles and lending a bit of support. 30 miles later I’d run my second marathon within a week and a realisation of what the body is possible of doing began to sink in. I then started looking for a marathon to do in November and an idea had entered my mind, a seed was sewn. I’m up to distance, I can crank out a marathon as my long run on a monthly basis with maintenance miles between, 20-30 miles a week would allow this to happen.
As I was unsure on if I could complete this task, being an overweight 40 year old going through a midlife crisis. I didn’t publish my intentions too publicly or at least not too much, I’m terrible for chatting about things that I enthuse about and can witter on a bit…!
I visited a fair few places, Malta and Scotland stand out as two major trips, and have made some fantastic friends along the way. It’s been a journey of self discovery and enlightenment. There’s been blood, sweat and tears along the way. There have been times where I’ve picked up an injury, mainly due to my size and weight, where I thought I’d be out of action for months. I was determined to see this through to completion and definitely ran when rest would have been better. Runners are the worst for being sensible about whether they should run or not!
This personal challenge has changed me as a person, all those miles, a lot of them solitary, gave me time to reflect and think on my life and the choices I’d made. It’s taken my life in an unexpected direction and I’m looking forward to the challenges ahead, the adventure and the camaraderie. Since my first marathon in 2012 I’ve now completed 18 marathons recognised by the 100 marathon club. Will I continue on this journey to 100? Who knows, but I’m enjoying running marathons at the moment so only time will tell what the body and mind will allow me to do.
Marathon running, it is a voyage of discovery.
This was how it played out. I ended up completing 14 marathons in the 12 month period, 5 of those being ultramarathons, the furthest of which was a staggering 70 miles!! (Sadly only counts as one marathon!)
2016 the seed was sewn here
- 24.09 401 Challenge marathon 390 – 27 miles
- 01.10 401 Challenge marathon 397 – 30 miles
The challenge begins here…
- 27.11 Winter Festive Frolic 27.6 miles (5:21:43)
- 18.12 Portsmouth Coastal marathon (4:58:07)
- 08:01 Resolution run marathon (5:16:50)
- 05.03 Malta Marathon (4:47:58)
- 26.03 Queen Elizabeth Spring marathon (5:29:44)
- 30.04 Wickham Whistler – 26.4 miles (5:30:42)
- 05.05 The Ox 50 – 51.5 miles (12:14:26)
- 10.06 Endure 24 – 71.5 miles (18:35:59)
- 25.06 – Rainbow Superhero Challenge – 50k (6:18:20)
- 01.07 – Insomniacs – 51.5 miles (11:52:18)
- 05.08 – Midnight marathon – 26.7 (6:04:28)
- 01.09 – Mogwai run – 29.5 (5:52:33)
- 24.09 – Loch Ness marathon (4:21:53)
- 28.10 – Beachy Head Marathon (5:26:04)