Saturday, 28 April 2018

15 in 17...

What are your plans for the holidays? It was a question I kept getting asked. The thing was I didn’t have any plans. It would be my first longish school holiday on my own since the boys had moved out and to be perfectly honest I was dreading it. My mental health wasn’t at is best with some stress and anxiety persisting even though life was more settled. Work was where I was happiest, my safe place, with people who knew what the last couple of years had been like. The thought of two weeks without the routine of work was not something I was as excited about as everyone else!

Since 1st January I had been following a friend's attempt to run marathon distance every day for 105 days and he was doing brilliantly, and that's how this crazy plan came about. 17 days off, nothing to do, my running was going well...

So next time I was asked what my plans were for the holidays my response was 'I'm going to run 15 marathons!'

As it turned out I ended up running 10 marathons and 5 half marathons but it was still a great adventure, I learnt a lot about how my body reacts to multi-day distance running and apart from day 9 I loved every step!
I'm not going to bore you with telling you about every run in detail because basically I left my house each day and ran about until I completed the distance and got back home!
Finishing marathon 2 at parkrun

There were some memorable bits though like day 5 where I was running with a friend and as I looked across a field thought that bush looks like a wallaby, actually that looks like lots of wallabies, I wasn't seeing things there really was a field of wallabies in the Essex countryside.

Day 7 was the only day I went further afield and we ran an out and back from Walton-on -Naze to St Osyth, that was a tough day but one of the two days that it didn't rain and finishing with a paddle was fun!
Day 9 was horrific, I was so physically drained that every step took all my concentration and willpower to complete, I apologise again to those who gave me some company that day as I was either grumpy or unable to actually speak, I did appreciate you trying though!
Day 2 and 9 were parkrun days and I incorporated parkrun into my marathons, the photos tell the story, day 2 happy and smiling, day 9 looked like death!

Day 2 top and day 9 ha ha!! 

Finishing on the last day with a marathon after the five halfs was great and finishing in 4:54 made it the quickest of the ten marathons. I was also amazed to have raised over £500 for my local branch of Mind,  far more than I expected, thank you everyone who donated.

As always I was amazed and overwhelmed at the support I received as I took on this crazy challenge, it makes so much difference. Those who came and ran with me, sent messages, liked and commented on my endless Facebook posts (even several friends who were sunning themselves in exotic locations!), Brought food to my door, checked to make sure I was ok. It was phenomenal, so thank you all, I really do have the most amazing friends.

An unexpected result of this adventure was how it helped me mentally, I know running 333.8 miles may not be a scientifically proven way of dealing with your mental health but for me it gave me time to think, to process a lot of what I have dealt with over the last couple of years. Although physically exhausted at the end, mentally I was refreshed and able to see that life was in fact ok, living alone is ok and the future could be anything I wanted it to be.

Another thing that has happened is I want to race again, more importantly I want to race ultras so in September I am going back to Robin Hood 100 and I will finish it this time!

Happy running xxx


  1. Fantastic!! What a great challenge to set yourself and go after!! AWESOME!!! xx