25. The Halfway Hustle

50/50 marathons

25. The Halfway Hustle

28th March 2020

Today’s run is the halfway hustle, I’ve finally made it halfway in this 50 marathon challenge.

Strange times

Coronavirus has officially taken over the world, everyone has been requested to stay at home. Businesses have shut and people are working from home, shops are closed unless they’re food shops. These have been emptied of everything and as soon as they get stocked back up, the locusts empty them again. Who knew that toilet paper and hand sanitiser would become a rare and valuable commodity? The streets are practically deserted, with the odd person scurrying around hoping not to bump into anyone else for fear of catching Coronavirus.

These are strange times indeed, but we are still allowed to walk the dog and go out for exercise, so, as it currently stands, I am able to continue with my marathon challenge. Not sure how long it will be till there is a limit to time spent exercising. I doubt 4 hours plus is an acceptable time frame, and I certainly can’t do it any quicker.

Home run

This weekend was the halfway point, so a milestone in my challenge. I was scheduled to do an event called The Dorset Ooser, but obviously that had been cancelled. Last week the restrictions on travel were a bit more relaxed, so I was able to run 26 miles from my house, without having to loop back on myself and then get picked up at the finish. This meant I could be a bit more creative with the route. This week however, all unnecessary car travel has been stopped, which means I am bound to running 13.1 miles away from home and then 13.1 miles back. The routes are quite limited.

The Isle of Wight Marathon… again!

As it was the 25 marathon, I thought that the appropriate route to do would be the Isle of Wight marathon route. I generally fail miserably at this, my last attempt being no exception, so what’s the worse that could happen???

The weather forecast for the weekend was generally fine, but there was a strong wind on the Saturday, getting stronger on the Sunday, so I decided to run Saturday. I set off at about 9:30am. I’ve taken to listening to music on these ones, to try and keep me going, running a marathon solo can be quite a lonely experience and running in silence can play tricks on your mind. I just found an uplifting playlist and hit shuffle. A lot of the songs were quite dubious and not my cup of tea at all, but I wasn’t going to be fussy. I did raise a smile when Africa by Toto came on. It’s a stone cold classic and I love it.

The route leaves Cowes through Gurnard and then out past Thorness and through Porchfield. From here you continue to Shalfleet, then main road all the way through to Yarmouth, where you join the old train track, now a cycle path. This path meanders along the edge of the river Yar towards Freshwater. At the halfway point, the route goes back inland and takes you along some side roads through Thorley and Wellow, before taking you back to Shalfleet and along the same route you came out on.

Coming back through Shalfleet is roughly 20 miles, my legs were heavy and my ankles were in agony, but I took solace in the knowledge that I felt a lot better than the last time I did this route.

The last few miles of the route are notoriously hilly, so it’s just a case of gritting teeth and putting one foot in front of the other. By the time I got to the final hill at Pallance Road I felt ok but decided to just walk it, my right calf muscle was feeling tight and I didn’t want to make it worse. The final distance was hit pretty much outside Aldi. The sub 4 hour window was missed, but not by much.

‘You rock Neil Marathon Man’

All in all a fairly uneventful run, not much to say, no exciting occurrences, other than having to cross the road occasionally to avoid other people! However once back home Caroline handed me a lovely hand made box. Inside the box was a beautiful handmade star-shaped badge that had the words ‘You rock Neil Marathon man’ hammered into it. A lovely friend, Jemma Ratcliff, had made it for me as a medal for finishing another marathon. Such a sweet and kind gesture. I will treasure it.

Next week…. who knows? I certainly don’t. Go take a look.


Time taken





I am running these marathons to raise money for Mind. If you like what I’m doing and would like to donate you can go to my Just Giving page below.