DOUBLE DIGITS AT LAST! And did you see that mileage total for today??! Woo hooooo!!
Today I ran with the awesome Ben Smith, a chap from Bristol who’s running the distance of 401 marathons in 401 days in aid of two anti-bullying charities: Kidscape and Stonewall. Today was his 102nd marathon in Worcester so I went over to run “a few miles” with him. Little did I know I’d end up doing the full 26.2!!
(Well…if I’m honest, although I said I was aiming for anything over 15 miles, I would have been disappointed with myself if I hadn’t at least attempted the full marathon. Still, I’m bloomin chuffed that I actually managed to finish!)
The day was supposed to start at 9.30am but Ben was giving a talk at Worcester University so we started a bit late. Some other runners also came to support Ben, mostly from the Worcester-based running club the Black Pear Joggers (their tag line is “Worcester’s Friendly Running Club”, and I can certainly vouch for that! A lovely bunch of people!). We started off by completing a 13.5 mile loop before stopping for lunch back in Worcester. Some people only ran a part of the route, and I think about 5 or 6 of us completed the full loop.
After lunch (a modest sandwich for me, worried about tummy troubles, but a well-deserved and rather large fry-up for Ben!), only two of us (apart from Ben of course) from the morning group carried on, but a few other Black Pears came along for the afternoon session.
The original plan was to run another half marathon loop, but as we’d started late and had a couple of slower runners in the first group, Ben was worried about running on roads as it was getting dark. Instead we changed tack and did two and a bit 5-mile figure-of-eights around the river Severn and Worcester Racecourse. Although I hate laps, I think mentally this was actually perfect for me, because I could break down the remaining distance down into more manageable chunks. Once I’d done the first 5 mile figure-of-eight, one and a bit more didn’t sound so bad, and when I’d done the second 5-mile loop, it was just a parkrun to go so I couldn’t stop there!
The other guy from the morning group who’d started the afternoon session, Mark, stopped after another 3 miles as his knee was hurting, so in the end I was the only one who completed the whole marathon distance (again, apart from Ben, of course!)!
Ben is such a lovely bloke and is doing such an amazing thing for two brilliant charities. If you have a few spare pennies, it’d be really ace if you could send them in the direction of his online giving page here. Alternatively, he now has a range of 401-branded merch, from which all profits also go to Kidscape and Stonewall. I’ve ordered my t-shirt!
And talking of fundraising, today’s effort means that I am now another 100 miles down and finally on the home stretch! I’ll be putting another tenner in my fundraising pot for the male suicide prevention charity Campaign Against Living Miserably. If you’d like to too, click here.
Now there is just the slight question of how on earth am I going to run a 10km race tomorrow…?!