Sometimes I have no idea what I'm doing, for example 2 days before I decided I would run my first 100 miles event, which was the Grim Reaper. The course was a 10 mile loop and the nicest thing was I didn't have to carry anything! Got round the first 50 miles without walking in 6:51:04sec, after that I would start walking at certain parts. What I didn't realise was I was on for a course record which I went on to beat in 17:35:44sec! You guessed it, I was 1st! You would think after that I would take a well earned rest, but, less than 6 1/2 hours later I took part in Newark Parkrun and finished 3rd in 19:30sec. I will admit it was hard to get going at the start watching everyone leave me and then getting my rhythm slowly passing people.
A couple of days later the London 2017 ad came out on TV and I just happened to be running several little bits.
So many events I can talk about but I will go onto my next big challenge which was the 262Challenge, running 262 miles in 5 days visiting 23 school along the way with each school having their own 1 mile finish back to the school, this was followed by me doing a talk to the children.
Sometimes opportunities are just handed to you and the original person that was meant to do this was sadly injured and nominated my name. After reading about the charity and the challenge I really couldn't say no.
This challenge and the next was in October so as you may guess a lot of miles in that month. Peace Touch Relay where I would be running 1000km in 10 days. Yes, you did read that right 620miles 10 days! Splitting it down and being joined by other people on a different 10km segment. I was joined by so many amazing people one of them being Michael and his daughter Holly who are at the moment helping me with my little company "MaraMile".
The Peace Torch Relay was definitely one of the toughest challenge I had to take on and there were times that I could've just stopped, but without people supporting me I don't think I could have done it on my own. A lot of people know by now I prefer multi day marathons to individual ones and put a claim out that I was going after the Guinness world record for the fastest person to run 10 marathons in 10 days. In 2008 Steve had the record, then in 2009 I had it and then in 2010 I really broke the record. Rik in 2014 was the first to do sub 30 hours. The dream I had was to do all 10 in sub 3 hours each, which is no easy task.
Saxons, Vikings & Normans 10 marathons in 10 days which was new to 2016. This event was in December which meant it was a little bit cold and each one of them were held next to the coast so it was hard work running against the wind, they were out and back courses. I got off to a fantastic start giving myself plenty of time if something was to go wrong later on. Day 8 I had some competition from another runner who was doing just that day, it wasn't long before we took the lead and I thought that was it, but somehow my mindset was "I'm going to catch him" With about 400m to go I passed him and managed my fastest one of the 10 days in 2:43:56sec.
Day 9 and 10 was tough, and was unsure if I was going to get them in sub 3 as it was a really heavy wind. I battled on and became the first ever person to do 10 sub 3 marathons back to back in an average time 2:51:44sec (overall time 28:37:19sec) smashing the world record!
This brings you to 2017 where it is been more about personal-bests. On 5th March I celebrated my 30th birthday and took part in the Newton Fraction Half Marathon thanks to Damo and Janet. It was heavy rain that day but it didn't stop me from getting a PB of 1:12:27sec.
My next PB brought me to the Paris Marathon which I won my place in in the competition, so a great opportunity for me to take my partner Sophie over to enjoy the sights. I didn't even plan for it, just guess the day was right and ran a 2:27:55sec, I was very happy.
Parkrun is an event that is free every Saturday at 9am and I try to go if I've not got another event on. For example, the day before the London Marathon I did the Southwark Parkrun, I didn't tell anyone but I ran 10 miles to get there! Somehow I managed to smash my PB doing 15:36 sec which was 15 seconds faster which is quite a lot to trim off a time trial. I still surprise myself sometimes.
You know that Wings for Life event I was talking about well I did it again and this time I was shown leading the world run for a while which was never my intention, I was just running at my marathon pace. I did a lot better this time running 58.76km and I still believe I can do more.
So marathon/ultra 299 was the Meridian Ultra which was also the England ultra distance Championships 50km. Game plan was just to do what I've been doing and it was a warm and windy day with the course being an out and back loop twice. Wasn't long before I took the lead and I kept it but there was a point where I got a little lightheaded and tired and when I drop my glasses, with a couple of miles to go it was running and walking from there on in. I could see the next person catching me and he wasn't far behind when we hit the last bit and I worked hard to make sure that I kept the win and claimed the title. He finish just 5 seconds behind me and again another PB 3:18:59 sec.
300th marathon/ultra is not long to go and I'm over the moon to be able to celebrate it in Devon, at an amazing event, the Dartmoor Discovery. 32 miles 674 yards which is the UK longest single lap road ultra marathon.
If you had managed to read to this point well done and thank you!
I know there is so much more I can add to this and that's where a book is needed. All the different charities I've helped over the years and all the different people that have helped me make it to this point. I will continue to look for epic challenges and goals to go for at the same time encouraging people of all ages to keep active and enjoy their sports.
As I wish you luck in your next challenge I can't wait for mine!
Journey to 300. Part I