Well, as I've completed my 60th birthday challenge with 18 months to spare I had to find something else to test myself and to raise vital funds for Alzheimer's Research UK. Last year I was supposed to be running 13 marathons as the start of my 60th birthday challenge. However, as I was running well I completed all my 'in case of injury' marathons too and got to 15 marathons feeling great and so decided I might as well make it up to a nice round number and added an extra 5 marathons which meant I'd reached the magic 60 a little sooner than expected.
Now I've found that I can actually churn out multiple marathons (and even set a pb in the process) I can hardly have a challenge where I state I'm going to run a few more marathons in 2016 please donate to ARUK as people would say, quite rightly, that it wouldn't be that much of a challenge for me!
But you've already got a very nice new vest Susie. Yes I have and I've been running in an ARUK vest for 10 years now but there's another vest that has caught my eye so you'll just have to read on to find out more………..
Throughout the last 12 months there have been a couple of little birdies aka Traviss (ultra-marathon runner extraordinaire and top bloke) and Paul (who pretends to be curmudgeonly but is actually a lovely sweet person and accomplished runner - that's killed your image!) whispering in my ear "you'll soon be at your 100", "you know you can do it", "just go for it". Those little birdies got inside my head and I started to believe that I could, in fact, reach that magical number of marathons.
I could, of course, spend the next few years doing just a few marathons each year but that's really not my style is it?!
I must mention now that I heard about the 100 marathon club when I first started running back in 2002 when Selina posted a photo of herself receiving a 100th marathon medal onto the Runners World website. I remember thinking "wow" and then forgetting it because it didn't apply to me as I'd only run a 5k. Over the years I've watched Ruth, aka Plodding Hippo who appears throughout my blog 'cos she's frequently at the marathons I run, achieving milestone after milestone (400+ and heading for 500 next year I think) but I never dreamt that it could be something I'd do.
Well, never say never 'cos here I am announcing to the world that I am going to aim for 100 marathons at 60 which gives me 18 months in which to complete the remaining 40 marathons. Oh my!
|Why is it called the quest for the vest? Because when you reach 100 marathons you can become a member of the 100 Marathon Club and wear their coveted blue and yellow vest!|
|With thanks to Paul and Andy for organising these fab tee shirts for us wannabes!|
Mike was worried about it to begin with as I'll be spending even more time away (he worries about me travelling plus he doesn't want me to injure myself). I already spend a lot of time supporting ARUK through giving talks etc and so it's a case of finding the right balance between home life and fund-raising. We talked it through and he's behind me 100% which is important 'cos he's a vital part of my support crew, mopping up tears when things go wrong, making me go out for a run when I'd rather sit by the fire, looking after the horses whilst I'm running marathons (that takes quite a lot of effort these days since Kizzy has 4 feeds a day now).
I've already got 20 marathons booked for next year plus a 50 mile ultra marathon so the fun starts as soon as 2016 begins! The full details of my plan for next year aren't in place yet as some marathon dates haven't been set but I'll give you a sneaky-peak at what the first few months look like (if it says 'Challenge' in the title then I'll hope to be running more than the usual marathon distance in preparation for April):
- 10th- Fowlmead Challenge
- 17th - Jeskyns Challenge
- 31st - Fowlmead Chocathon Challenge
- 13th - The Unusual Suspects Challenge
- 21st - The Good, the Bad and the Ugly marathon
- 28th - The Relativity Run
- 29th - Leap Year Challenge
- 9th- Book Day Challenge
- TBC (19th - Endurance Life Coastal Trail series?)
- 16th - Fowlmead 50 miles (yep, I'm venturing into ultra territory again!)
- 23rd - St George's Day marathon (I enjoyed this so much last year that I just had to enter even though my legs might not thank me for it so soon after the 50 miler). I won't, however, be running the London marathon the next day which was a difficult decision to make but as I've run it 10 times already I felt I should give someone else a chance to use the Gold Bond place for ARUK.
- TBC (7th - Bewl marathon?)
- 27th - Greg & Janet's Wedding Challenge
- 28th Kent Roadrunner marathon
Of course some of them might be subject to change through injury/illness/life events/the weather (by which I mean if we get snowed-in!) so the plan may have to be adjusted but the ultimate aim remains the same.