So the idea was dreamt up in Autumn 2013 after I had completed my first 18 months as a novice ultra runner [though I had jog/walked a 48 miler as far back as 2004 and had done plenty of long distance yomps in the army]. After nearly 30 years of running, never more than around 2,000 miles in a year with two or three marathons maximum, I had trained for my first try at longer than 26.2 miles from late 2011.
Having completed several back to back 20 milers and some 30 and 40 mile runs by the time I tried my first ultra in September 2012 [yes straight in at the 24 hour event] along with discovering it was very possible to run daily, I came to believe that running longer was perhaps the area I could/should concentrate on going forward.
For reasons other than running par se [though related to the running venture] the earlier part of 2013 proved to be pretty miserable, but with people already asking what I was planning to do for my 50th birthday at the end of 2015, my thoughts turned towards something that might be noteworthy, useful and fun.
The idea of doing something for a longer period seemed to make more sense than just on the birthday day itself, and so the Thousand Day Challenge was born and pitched at a level that I thought would be achievable but still require considerable dedication; 10.000 miles or 10 miles a day average.
The start date chosen was March 23rd, Sport Relief 2014, when it was noted that completely coincidently exactly 1,000 days later would be my 51st birthday.
It soon became evident however that just running the needed mileage for that length of time would be pretty uninspiring overall and that waymark or sub challenges would be a good idea. Several events were pencilled in from ongoing events I run plus some new ones to support what would become the major goal of the 2 3/4 years of running.
Being of a mathematical bent that major idea would naturally have to incorporate 50 something or others. But fifty whats? A 50 mile race? 50 days of running?
The only thing that seemed to make any sense was 50 marathons. Thinking that 50 marathons in a year would get in the way of almost everything else [and has been done by many, many runners?] I decided to go for the lot in only 50 days. And 50 marathons in 50 days at 50 years old, seemed to have a nice ring to it. Thus the challenge was born.
I subsequently learned of Dean Karnazes and his 50/50 marathons from 2006 and the idea was set in concrete.
The 50 Marathon schedule
Here’s how the 50 marathons are looking. July 17th – September 4th 2016. The first 29 marathons in London and the south east, 11 marathons in Jersey, 4 in Guernsey, 5 in Jersey, and the last one back in London.
|out and back||Loop||Laps|
|official race route||race or official event|
For ease of convenience with weekends, to not split a double day event in the middle of August and as it forms a nice break between the London and Channel Islands runs and a month starting nicely at the beginning of a week, it was decided to split the 50 days into SEVEN weeks. The first week is therefore an eight day week. The above colour code was used to indicate the types of marathon runs, ie laps or official races etc.
The Routes and Dates
Jersey and Guernsey routes:
|UFD Half Hackney Marshes [sep 4 AM]|
More information and route maps by clicking each location/date. Maps are for navigational guidance only not as accurate navigation tools.
Anyone donating £10 and running any distance with me can get themselves a unique, never to be repeated large bit of bling. £5 goes to make the medal and £5 to British Red Cross.