Easter lockdown marathon medal

27. Easter lockdown marathon

50/50 marathons

27. Easter lockdown marathon

11th April 2020

Easter Lockdown Marathon

The Easter Lockdown marathon. As the Coronavirus lockdown continues into the Easter break, I’m struggling to vary my routes. Today I had no plan, I was literally just going to run and see where it took me.

Last week’s marathon was painful, to be honest, none of them are comfortable, but last week I was hurting right from the start. So I figured it was time to get some new running shoes. Running shoes tend to have a limit on mileage before it’s recommended you change. It varies between shoes, but I generally try and change my shoes every 500 miles. That being said, my trustee Mizuno’s had done that and then some. They were due for a change.

Hey, I got my new shoes on…

Running shoes of any credibility are not cheap, if I can I try and buy locally. There’s a great little shop on the Island called Love Running, but like most places, they’re shut at the moment. So I had to do the online thing, which is definitely cheaper, but lacks the attention to detail required when choosing a new running shoe. For a start you can’t try them on first, but also if you’re unsure of your running gait, you can make a choice that is potentially harmful. So it’s good to be able to go to a running store and get proper advice. Needs must though, so I went for a shoe I’d had before, Hoka One One’s. They’re a bit more supportive and cushioned and I think I need that right now.

The sun was out and it was already quite warm. Such a nice change to all the cold, wet and windy marathons that have gone before. It really makes a difference when the weather is nice, and you’re not having to struggle through thick mud, wondering when you’re going to fall on your arse for the tenth time!

As I set off in my new shoes, with the sun beating down, I had a spring in my step and felt good…. for a bit!

Cowes Isle of Wight
River Medina Isle of Wight
Belmont Copse Isle of Wight

Running without direction

With no clearly defined route in my head I thought I’d revisit the run that I did as my big Sunday run whilst I was building up to starting this challenge. It was a 22 mile route, so only needed to tag on a few extra miles to make it to the full distance. From my house I run through Cowes, along the seafront to Gurnard. This is such a lovely refreshing run and I’m looking forward to just doing little 6 milers along this route again.

Up through Gurnard and turn left to tuttons hill, down Baring Road to Egypt Hill. From there I loop back up into Gurnard, but at the top of Worsley Road I turn Right down Church Road. Little loop back up to Worsley road and then head back to Cowes along the seafront. Sounds like a repetitive route but it’s lovely and there’s a few hills to mix it up a bit.

From Cowes I head towards Newport along the cycle track. Once in Newport at The Quay arts centre, go left out passed The back on Medina School and keep going along the path until you reach Island Harbour. There’s a wreck of an old steam ship called The Ryde Queen. Always makes me sad to see this. I remember years ago we used to go to it as there used to be a disco/nightclub on board. Now it’s just left to rust, it’s back is broken and it’s slowly collapsing.

Ryde Queen, Island Harbour

From this point I was about 15 miles in and the spring in my step had sprung off somewhere else. I was also about to go freestyle to try and make up the extra miles. I knew that once back at the quay in Newport would be 4 miles back to Cowes and the finish, so I needed to find 7 miles.

Cross over Fairlee Road from Island Harbour, there’s a path that takes you up into some lovely trail that sits on the outskirts between Wootton and Newport. I don’t know what this area is called. It’s a mix of rolling farmland and sun dappled woods. I actually really enjoyed not knowing where I was going and just exploring the trail. I knew that if I kept heading vaguely right that I would be heading back into Newport.

At one point I tried to get up onto St George’s Down, but found myself in a cow pat riddled field with no obvious way of getting out, so I gave up on that and got back onto Burnt House Lane where I knew I could weave my way out towards Carisbrooke.

From Carisbrooke it’s back into Newport to the Quay and the last few miles to shuffle back home. My times aren’t the best, but I gave up on any form of PB a long way back. I think the last time I managed a sub 4 hour marathon was very early on at the Chelmsford marathon, since then I’ve seen a steady decline. But I’ve found relief in not worrying about the time. If I dwell on finishing in a certain time it puts far too much pressure on and I only end up feeling disappointed at the end when I don’t hit a target. By not focusing on time, I find it a much more satisfying and enjoyable experience.

Coronavirus craziness

These last few marathons in this crazy world of Coronavirus have been nice. Although I’ve missed the experience of an organised marathon and the adventure of travelling to places I’ve never been. These solo runs have not had the pressure of catching ferries and rushing down motorways to get back, feeling rubbish from having just done a marathon.

But the thing that has really been amazing is the support from my friends and family. I’ve really loved receiving the medals that friends have made and appreciate the consideration and time that they have put in just for me. After this one Caroline handed me a medal made by my friend Paul Armfield. In the shape of the superman logo, but with an N instead of an S. bloody love it! It’s the icing on the cake to receive something like that, far nicer than the usual generic medal you get at the end of official races, way more precious.

As well as making medals, Paul Armfield is a hugely talented musician. His new album ‘Domestic’ is set to launch later this year. It’s a beautiful collection of songs that are related to home, so quite appropriate for these crazy days under the cosh of Coronavirus. Go and take a look at his website paularmfield.com.

Easter Lockdown Marathon







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.