On Saturday, I completed my first virtual race! Alongside two of my lovely colleagues, we participated in Marathon in a Day. The idea is that you run the total distance of a marathon (26.2 miles) over the course of 24 hours. You can do it alone, or as a team. It doesn’t matter where you are, or how you break it up. So long as the marathon is completed in one 24 hour period, it counts! All you have to do is register online and submit evidence after you take part. Proceeds from the race entry benefit UK-based mental health charity Mind.
Thankfully, we had a team of three so our individual total distance wasn’t too daunting. Also, teammate Katherine did 8.2 miles solo the day before, so that left just 6 miles to do together to make up the 26.2 miles total. I was VERY thankful for Katherine’s 8.2 mile addition to the team marathon. After far too much champagne on a very festive Friday evening, I was not in any shape to run 1 mile, let alone 6. I guzzled about 3 litres of water, and felt marginally better by the time I met my team at the start line, AKA London Bridge.
We picked a beautiful, though densely populated route along the Southbank, heading back along Embankment. On an ordinary day, the crowds of people might have annoyed me, but I was endlessly thankful for the slower pace. My head was pounding! By the time we got across the bridge, the crowds had thinned a bit, so we could move a little more quickly.
All our watches were displaying slightly different distances, so I had to do a little 60 metre jog to at the end to land on a perfect 9.66km, exactly 6 miles. Our watches would form the proof for our Marathon in a Day team entry, a critical part of the process! I wouldn’t say it was the fastest 6 miles we’ve ever run, but it was lovely to run it together as a team and take part in this new event.
While this marathon format is a bit unusual, it’s a really inclusive concept that encourages all sorts of runners to participate. Sure, you could still have gone out and run a whole marathon in one go, but for those of us who value our toenails, breaking it into smaller chunks or sharing the distance with a group makes is much more manageable.
We enjoyed a well-deserved drink after our run, and I then treated myself to a scotch egg and a Danish, which I realise is a very random snack. Note to runners: never go into Waitrose when hungry after a run!
Big thanks to Katherine for organising our team entry and running the extra miles. I’d say we nailed it.