My virtual London Marathon attempt
Congratulations to everyone who completed the Virtual London Marathon or any distance today. You are all amazing 🙂 I tried to complete my own virtual London Marathon, but failed. I had what I thought was a cunning plan; I was going to walk all night and early in the morning. I was going to capture […]

Congratulations to everyone who completed the Virtual London Marathon or any distance today. You are all amazing 🙂

I tried to complete my own virtual London Marathon, but failed.

I had what I thought was a cunning plan; I was going to walk all night and early in the morning. I was going to capture the 26.2 miles in selfies; at the end of each mile, I would take a selfie to document my marathon walk. I had walked a lot of miles, had tapered off, and had plenty of carbs (ate a little too many chips). I had visualized this medal arriving in the post.

I also had a vision to complete the 26.2 miles and get home in time to watch the elite London Marathon races. I had mapped out a route, dug out several sets of running clothes and sneakers and was good to go. The only not so positive was the weather. It rained all day in Four Oaks yesterday and it rains again today. For once, the BBC's weather forecast was just about perfect.

I mentally prepared myself for a wet, windy and cool walk around Four Oaks. I choked on BodyGlide and was wearing running clothes that I knew from experience were less likely to irritate. I checked my phone was charged, my Garmin was charged, and got out at midnight to head into the torrential rain.

The route I had mapped out was about an 8 mile long loop. I figured if I needed to I could stop after each loop to get food, go to the bathroom, have a drink, change my sneakers and socks, etc.

I felt great - as good as I could given the weather conditions - throughout most of the first loop. I ran the first 0.25 miles of each mile, then did the rest. I was soaked to my skin for the first couple of miles, but I felt hot. The wind was relentless but I refused to let the conditions frustrate me. It was really a case of thinking positive thoughts and having fun. I felt so good at the end of the first loop, and was afraid I wouldn't want to leave my house if I stopped so I decided to continue.

It didn't take me very long to regret this decision.

The second (and final) loop was a complete contrast to the first loop. The rain seemed to be getting worse, my sneakers and socks were soaked and I could feel hot spots under my feet. I couldn't stop thinking about my spare warm, dry pair of socks and sneakers. Looking back and hindsight isn't wonderful, I should have gone home, recharged my Garmin, and changed into a set of dry clothes and sneakers.

My marathon attempt ended just after 4 a.m. at 17 miles. A low battery warning popped up on my Garmin's screen and when I checked I found that even though I had only been using it for a little over four hours, the battery had dropped to 7%. I could feel the blisters on the soles of my feet getting worse, I was cold, I was soaked and I had had enough. I had not respected the distance of the marathon and I had paid the price.

I got home, managed to remove my soaked undercarriage, stood in a hot shower for several minutes, put on my warmest pajamas, and went to bed. I couldn't sleep because I couldn't stop shivering so I created this masterpiece.

I don't think any of the selfies show how wet and tired I was after spending four hours outside in the wind and rain. At least messing around creating this GIF helped me sleep.

I managed to sleep for most of the elite women's race, but I got to watch Brigid Kosgei win again and Sarah Hall win the most impressive sprint finish I think I have seen second place at the end of a marathon.

I'm a little ashamed to admit that I didn't watch the elite men's race as I lay back in bed for a few hours. I kind of assumed that Eliud Kipchoge was going to win, so I was amazed to see the result of the men's race.

Soon after, Kipchoge updated his supporters. A reminder that even the best marathon runner in history can have a bad day at the office.

I hope the problem was caused by the weather conditions and Kipchoge is not injured. I'm sure Kipchoge will be back soon to do what he does best; set world records and win marathons.

I know for sure that I will not try to complete another marathon. My marathon days are definitely over. 26.2 miles is a long way! I think 13.1 miles is my absolute limit. Although I am nowhere near having walked 26.2 miles, my morning walk was not completely wasted. I don't know how, but I spotted and therefore saved £ 22 as I walked through the center of Mere Green. This covered the registration fee for the Virtual London Marathon.

I want to end by saying please don't let my experience and my moans and moans put you off. If you want to try to finish the London Marathon and you should do as the 2006 and 2008 London Marathons remain two of my best running experiences as a runner, the ballot for the 2021 event is now open.

The ballot will remain open for six days to give all who wish to participate in the event a fair chance to do so. The 2021 poll will close at 5:00 p.m. on Friday October 9, 2020.

The results of the 2021 poll will be announced in early January 2021.

Good luck!



Most people think of running as a solo venture. And while runners appreciate ( read : need ) quality “me time, ” there’s something quite powerful about course in a pack.

“Most of the time people join groups for the social experience, but the cool thing about a running group is that you can be a part of it without saying a word, ” says Scott Miller, founder of the Boulder Trail Running Breakfast Club. “It’s a great opportunity to connect. ”

Here, Miller plus five other running club founders, share tips for building—and sustaining—your own running club.

Jessamy Little, who founded the Cass Runners Club, a 100-plus person course group in London comprised of her school classmates, suggests asking potential members what days, times, and locations work best with their schedules. Some groups may favor an early morning sweat sesh, while others may prefer meeting after work. “A recommendation for a newer club is to have two set running days, ” Little says. “One during the week that is more focused on ‘getting it done’ and one on weekends that can have a more ‘fun and footloose’ vibe. ” For Little’s group, the weekend runs were geared toward exploring new areas of the city.

“Don’t get discouraged if not a lot of people show up at first, ” says Marnie Kunz, founder of Runstreet, an NYC-based company that leads art runs—urban runs that pass by street art in cities across the U. S. When Kunz held her first art run in 2015, just one person came : a man on a bike. Kunz was disappointed, embarrassed, and considered canceling the whole thing. But the next week a few more people showed up, and then a few more. Soon, word got out. Runstreet has since hosted more than 200 runs in cities around the country “Realizing that everyone starts from scratch really helps, ” Kunz says.

Kunz stresses the importance of having your own website that houses all information about your runs along with photos. “Social media platforms can change—and not everyone is on every platform—so it helps to have everything in one place. ” Keep your communication consistent across platforms to help create a streamlined brand.

Let people know what they are getting themselves into, Miller says. His Boulder, Colorado-based group of 100-plus members meets every Saturday for a long trail run ( anywhere between two to six hours ) followed by a group breakfast. Because the group’s runs cover a wide range of terrain, he wrote several articles explaining the general types of conditions runners can expect and the group’s approximate pace along with safety tips.

The articles are published on the group’s MeetUp page, and when a new person signs up, Miller sends them the reading material. “If your group is not a beginner group, you need to make that clear, ” Miller says. “You don’t want people to show up and have a bad time. I try to be really descriptive about the time, distance, and elevation of our runs so people know what they are in for. ”

Many members of Miller’s group take photos during the runs and post them to the group’s page. He says it helps draw new members. “When people are looking for a course group and they see pictures of runs in amazing areas, people smiling—both men and women—they see that it’s a mixed group that likes to be social and have fun. ”

Frankie Ruiz, cofounder of the Miami Marathon and founder of the Baptist Health South Florida Brickell Run Club, a free, once-a-week, Miami-based group of about 400 runners, can count on one hand the number of times he’s cancelled runs throughout the program’s nine-year tenure.

“Our main message is that we don’t cancel, ” he says. “If it’s really rough out, we’ll go to a parking garage or go indoors and do a core session. ” He says this has helped build the club’s reputation as a consistent amenity offered by the city. “Even if a runner doesn’t show up, I think there’s a comfort knowing that there is something in your city that doesn’t stop. ”

“If you have new people coming in, you can’t assume that they know the rules and guidelines, ” Ruiz says. “Communication needs to be all the time. ” Even though the group’s “weather-proof policy” may be well understood among current members, every time the skies get gloomy, the club blasts their social channels with reminders that the runs are still on. It also helps to communicate the planned route, distance, and pace in advance so that new members can plan their fuel and attire accordingly.

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