50 in 50 at 50


The Idea

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.

5050 medal.png

The 50 Marathon schedule

G44 J45 J46 J47 J48 J49 50
J37 J38 J39 J40 G41 G42 G43
J30 J31 J32 J33 J34 J35 J36
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
2 3 4 5 6 7 8

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

London routes:

QEOP & Great Newham Run10K [july 17 AM]
Beat the Street [july 18 PM]
QEOP Sweatshop 10K [july 19 PM]
Mile End Park [july 20 PM]
Thames Path Stratford-Big Ben [ july 21 PM]
Stratford – Romford [july 22 PM]
WF parkrun and Wanstead Flats [july 23 AM]
1908 Olympic marathon course [july 24 AM]
Regent’s Park [july 25 PM]
Victoria Park [july 26 PM]
Drayton Green  [july 27 PM]
Greenway [july 28 PM]
London Marathon Route [july 29 PM]
Twilight Marathon Ilford [july 30 AM]
Enigma Marathon Milton Keynes [july 31 AM]
Newham Boundary [aug 1 PM]
Southbank [aug 2 PM]
Westfield Stratford [aug 3 PM]
Towpath [aug 4 PM]
Polytechnic Marathon route [aug 5 PM]
Valentine’s Park parkrun [aug 6 AM]
1948 Olympic marathon course [aug 7 AM]
Alperton [aug 8 PM]
West Ham Park [aug 9 PM]
Wanstead Park [aug 10 PM]
Marathon Kent cyclopark [aug 11PM]
2012 Olympic marathon course [aug 12 AM]
spitfire scramble event [aug 13 AM]
spitfire scramble event [aug 14 AM]

Jersey and Guernsey routes:

1984 marathon course [aug 15 AM]
people’s park [aug 16 PM]
Town-corbiere half [aug 17 PM]
along front [aug 18 PM]
Gorey-La Moye [aug 19 PM]
Jersey parkrun [aug 20 AM]
Jason Lee 10K and StClem [aug 21 AM]
FB 400 m track [aug 22 PM]
Nov83 half [aug 23 PM]
along front [aug 24 PM]
Great North [aug 25 PM]
guernsey [aug 26 PM]
guernsey parkrun [aug 27 AM]
Guernsey Marathon [aug 28 AM]
guernsey [aug 29 PM]
Churches [aug 30 PM]
people’s park [aug 31 PM]
Nov half [sep 1 PM]
along front [sep 2 PM]
marathon course [sep 3 PM]

Last marathon:

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.