Edible medal

37. Father's Day Marathon

50/50 marathons

37. Father's Day Marathon

21st June 2020.

Going across on the floating bridge

After finishing a marathon I’m generally in a completely drained state, a bit like one of those pink bunnies that don’t have Duracell batteries. I sit in bed wrapped in a blanket, trying to warm up, sipping on water. It’s never a pretty sight. But that’s where I am right now, dog by my side trying to figure out where to start on this week’s journal entry.

Today is Father’s Day, it’s also the summer solstice, so I had two options for where to go for today’s route. Option 1, to plot a route that would take me back through my journey as a father. Option 2, to run to Mottistone Long Stone for the dawn of the summer solstice. The problem with option 2 is that the forecast was terrible for early morning and the likelihood of seeing a sunrise was pretty slim. Plus it would mean a really early start and  I wasn’t keen on that idea.

So as a compromise I thought I’d get up early and do a Father’s Day route. The alarm shattered my sleep at about 6. It was pouring down, so I went back to sleep and woke up with a jolt at 8 am.

My route required me to go across on the floating bridge from west to East Cowes, so I checked the Floaty Finder App only to find that it wasn’t running! So I hastily replotted the route via the cycle track. I tried a few times but couldn’t make it the correct route. I did a quick double-check of the Floaty, only to see it was running now. The original plan back on.

Once at the Floaty, I was told that it was now compulsory to wear masks! I’d completely forgotten. Luckily a kind lady gave me a mask to wear, so I was back on track.

Marathon 37 Route

The route

My route needed to go out towards Ryde as this was where my journey as a father started. Sadly it wasn’t a smooth journey. My first location was Ashey Cemetery. Our son Zak was born on the 15th of January 1993. I’d literally just graduated and had recently started working for a small design agency. That year turned out to be the worst year of my life and has had a massive effect on me ever since. Our son died that September of a rare genetic disorder. I find it hard to visit the cemetery, so I haven’t been there for a while. But I wanted to go today.

The cemetery is in a peaceful location, out of the way from everything, overlooked by Brading down. No noise, other than the sound of bird song and the occasional passing train from Havenstreet. Though not today. As I ran closer I felt a tightness in my chest, concerned by what state I would find. It had been such a long time since we were last there. Life gets in the way. I didn’t need to worry as nature had taken over. The cemetery was full of beautiful wildflowers.

Me, Caroline and Zak
Me and Zak

From Ashey I needed to head back to Newport. My route took me through the most beautiful countryside, through the hills and fields. I hadn’t run this way before and I was pleased to do it. Do you ever sit in a car and look out at the countryside and wonder what it would be like to just get out and explore? I do quite often, so it’s great to actually be doing it.

Once over Brading down, I headed down an overgrown path that would come out at Arreton. I did the usual bumbling around in fields trying to find my route. At one point a baby fox crossed my path. I froze so that I could watch it for a while.

Once through Arreton I found a path that would take me up to St George’s Down. This route was turning into something rather nice, the sun was shining and the Isle of Wight really was looking amazing.


The next destination to get to was our first house in Newport. We bought it for £34,000 and spent a few years doing it up. This was where we had our beautiful daughter Ella. Well, she wasn’t born there, but where she spent her first year. She was born in the maternity ward at St Mary’s on the 22nd of November 2000.

By now I was starting the usual struggles of running a marathon, hampered more by a bad back, this was slow going. The hills of the Isle of Wight don’t let up though. I pushed on up Horsebridge Hill towards Northwood where my next location was. Northwood Primary School. Ella started at the nursery there before moving into the main school. It was such a lovely little school for her to start at, and she often says how much she enjoyed her time there.

31 Clarence Road
St Mary's Hospital Maternity Ward
Northwood Primary school

I was at about 18 miles by this point and still needed to make up some distance rather than just heading straight back into Cowes, although that was very tempting. So my route went down Pallance Lane and then up Rew Street towards Gurnard. My friend Guy had offered to join me as I passed his house. He greeted me with a cup of water, which was like nectar as I’d managed to drink all the water I was carrying. I’d like to say we ran the last few miles at a good pace, but I was done, so we slowly shuffled along and chatted. It was so good to have him along for the support and for the company.

My next stop was to go and see my own Dad. I couldn’t do a run like this without doing that. This whole lockdown thing hasn’t been easy on him. He’s missing the pub 😊

The last few miles went along the seafront into Cowes. We were amazed by the number of people out and about. A complete contrast to a couple of weeks ago. Once at the Parade I needed to make a stop at Slab Fudge, the best fudge shop on the Island, if not the world. Not to buy fudge, but to see my daughter Ella. She’s working there while not at University. I know every father says they have the best kids, but she really is brilliant. We’re so proud of the woman she’s become. Clever, courteous, and funny, with strong opinions and beliefs. She’s impossible to argue with because she always wins, and she’s great company. It’s been nice having her back from Brighton, spending lockdown at home. I think it’ll hit us when she goes back for a new term.

Me and my Dad
Me and Ella
Me and Ella

Guy stuck with me until I was back home and then continued on to hopefully have a better run. At home, I was greeted by the dog and Caroline put a paper crown on my head and passed me a little black box. I love the intrigue of these medals from friends. I opened it up, inside was a brilliant homemade biscuit medal with a very flattering portrait of me iced on the top. This one was courtesy of the lovely Jaime and Ollie Bennet. They have a Vegan restaurant called Tansy’s Pantry. The food is amazing, so this was a real treat to tuck into. It didn’t last long and tasted amazing 😋

Edible medal







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.