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34. The Inaugural Massive Anchor Marathon

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34. The Inaugural Massive Anchor Marathon

May 31st 2020.

Massive Anchor Marathon start

Hot, hot, hot! Not me, I look like a sack of potatoes, the weather

Last week my maths was off when I said I had 16 to go. That was clearly a brain fart brought on by not being able to count to more than 3 after running a marathon! Now there are only 16 left to do.

Last week I thought I only had 16 to go, so a week later being back at the same figure is a bit disheartening. I mean, I could have been saying ‘only 15 more to go’ which is a much nicer figure. I guess I shall save that little party for next week.

Luckily I have Caroline to mark my work, so she picked up on my bad arithmetic.

So this weeks marathon was without a name until my friend Guy came up with the perfect suggestion, but more of that later.

I was originally booked in to run the Hellstone Marathon. This is a sister race to The Dorset Ooser. Sadly both races, organised by Badger Trail Events, got postponed until later in the year on dates that I’m already booked for something else. I was weirdly looking forward to them, but I think the names suggest that they may have been quite tough!

As usual I was stuck for ideas of routes for this week, and being in denial about the whole challenge right now didn’t help. Luckily Guy stepped forward once again with a suggestion for a route. So there was my plan.

The weather is really nice at the moment, but very hot, so not ideal for marathon running. When I was planning this challenge I assumed the winter months would be the hardest, and they were, but running on a hot day poses its own problems. I decided it would be wise to set off early, to avoid the hottest part of the day. So off I trotted at 7 am from my house and on towards the ever faithful and very familiar Cycle Track to Newport.

Massive Anchor Marathon cycle track

A welcome running partner

Beyond there once again I continued along the Red Squirrel Trail from Shide. As I was running I was listening to the Marathon Talk podcast, but I could hear someone approaching behind. I turned to see a friend called Steve Powell with a big grin on his face. He’s currently training for a marathon that may not go ahead, but having committed the time to the training is still going to run it regardless.

Steve was on his big run for the week, so we ran together for a while, keeping a safe distance of course. I’d forgotten how nice it is to run with someone else. When you’re on your own it’s easy to get into a bit of a plod, but running with someone else means you run a better pace and while chatting you don’t even notice the miles.

I had intended to take a turn that goes towards Godshill but yet again I missed it. I really must figure that out because it’s not the first time. Steve was going a different way, so we parted company and I headed what I thought was the right way, only to realise it wasn’t, so I turned around and continued the same way as Steve, but he was gone. In hind sight I think it was the right way to go because I spent the next few miles trying to wind my way towards Godshill. Trouble is, I found a nice Woodland trail called Martins reserve, or something like that. Never been there before and it was such a nice trail to run on that I just went with it.

Of course that put me right off track, but I eventually found my way onto the road to Godshill. You’d think having lived on the Island for the years I have that I would know it like the back of my hand. Apparently not!

There’s a lovely trail from Godshill called the Worsley Trail. It heads out around the back of Appledurcomb House. Rather hilly, in fact it’s all up hill. But it’s pretty and there are llamas, so worth the effort. I headed up onto the downs, I’d like to say I was running all the way, but that would be a lie.

Once at the top there’s the Worsley monument standing proud over the most beautiful view looking out across the patchwork of the Isle of Wight. From here I headed on with the intention of running towards Stenbury down and on towards Ventnor. But a quick check of my distance showed that I was over 19 miles in. All my earlier meandering had added up the miles. Caroline was originally supposed to pick me up at Carisbrooke, if I went any further that would be wrong. So I turned the other way down what can only be described as a death trap of a hill. Super steep. Very uneven and dry so easy to slip, surrounded on both sides by barbed wire, thorns and bastard nettles. Perfect choice of route.

Massive Anchor Marathon supporters
Massive Anchor Marathon Worsley Monument
Massive Anchor Marathon View from Worsley Monument

Lost again!

By now I was once again well off track. I was just running in directions that I thought looked ok. I decided that I should head towards Chillerton and get picked up there. I could see the mast in the distance so I headed that way, but even with that great big thing to guide me I got lost a couple more times. At one point I was running around a fishing lake for what seemed like ages. No exit to be seen!

I finished in the middle of nowhere on a dirt track that I dare say I will never find again. I was about a mile from Chillerton where I was going to be picked up. I was spinning out, my legs were in agony and I felt sick, but had to trudge on to the pick up point. I’m not a great promotion for marathon running am I?

Massive Anchor Marathon lost by a lake
Massive Anchor Marathon

The best goody bag ever!

Once home, several cold drinks later, Caroline handed me a lovely case. It was very heavy. Inside it was a whole care package. There was a certificate that said congratulations on finishing the inaugural massive anchor marathon. There was food, beer, a book called ‘the loneliness of the long distance runner, vegan jerkie, all sorts. There was even a Milli Vanilli single called Keep on Running! Must have been from Guys personal collection. Of course there was a big heavy anchor with a chain to hang around my neck and to go with it, a hat with an anchor on it and a t shirt with a massive anchor on it. I’ll ignore the insinuation because it really was an extra ordinary treat from my friend Guy Boorman. You may remember him from the South Wight Ballbreaker marathon early in the year.

Guy has been behind organising all of the amazing hand made medals and trophies that I’ve received whilst doing these homegrown marathons. I am so unbelievably grateful for his support, and of course everyone that has taken the time to make me a medal.

Next week I should have been Running the River Meon Valley marathon, but guess what? postponed 🙁

If anyone has any suggestions of a route that I can run, I would be massively grateful.

Massive Anchor Marathon goody bag
Massive Anchor Marathon goody bag
Massive Anchor 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.