50/50 marathons

1. Isle of Wight Marathon

6th October 2019

It’s the morning of the first of my 50/50 challenge, my nemesis, the Isle of Wight Marathon. Easy to get to, but from experience, not an easy marathon. Not that any marathon is easy, but the Isle of Wight is the only one where I have had to pull out, twice! The first time was because a big toe nail popped off and when I stopped to try and deal with it my legs completely gave up on me, that was at mile 22. The second time was the last official Time I did it in 2017. Again the dreaded mile 22, I hit the wall and ended up going to hospital in an ambulance and being put on a drip. I said after that that I wouldn’t run another marathon, but 2 weeks later I ran the Isle of Wight course just to exorcise the demon of the last attempt, I finished and it was fine.

The lesson I took from both of these experiences was to never underestimate the marathon. Training always has to be taken seriously and nutrition is a big part of that, I was a bit blasé as I’d run several marathons before and thought I could rely on past fitness levels.

So, hopefully today won’t be another DNF. I’ve been training for the past 8 months so I’m as ready as I can be. My speed is not great, but this challenge is not about PB’s, it’s just about completion – quantity not quality 🙂

Ok, it’s two days later, I’ve just got back from a recovery run. First chance I’ve had to write up how it went.

In short, it was bloody horrible!

Excited to finally be starting the challenge, adrenaline pushed me off at the start a bit faster than I had wanted to. First few miles were averaging 7:30 miles, then started to even out to around 8 minute miles. Subsequently by mile 13 I was starting to feel it. Mile 16 and things we’re going quite pear shaped. I was starting to spin out and kept stopping to get my heart rate down. Every mile from here was painful and unpleasant. To make matters worse I was totally on my own so had know one to chat to, to try and take my mind off it. I decided that to finish it I needed to adopt a run walk strategy, so any of the hills I walked up.

The last few miles of the race do hold some truly horrible hills. Bunts Hill out of Porchfield is quite a notable one at the 22 mile mark, followed shortly at mile 24 by Pallance Road. Even walking up that one is a killer. But the remaining distance is thankfully flat as you run back to the finish.

The finish line is such an amazing sight, made better by seeing friends and family cheering me on. On crossing the line I literally collapsed to the ground. Questioning my life choices and wondering if there was any way of backing out of the challenge!

In hindsight lying down was the worst thing I could do, but my whole body was screaming at me to just lie down and be still. Once home, the cold and nausea was really kicking in. I just wanted to sleep. The thought of eating anything made me shudder, and anything I did have just came straight back up. It wasn’t until about 11pm till I could venture out of bed and forage for food.

So, the past couple of days have been a bit of a downer. Dusting myself down and Genuinely questioning why I even started, but having just come back from a run and feeling ok, I feel better and am sure I’ll be fine for round two this coming Sunday. The Eden Project Marathon.

If you’d be interested in running the Isle of Wight Marathon in the future, take a look at Ryde Harriers.

Isle of Wight Marathon 2019


Time taken




Calories burned

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.