#38 – Walk the Clarendon Way (and hopefully #23 – Raise £1000 for charity)
OK, take a deep breath. I’ve signed up to walk a marathon. Let me just repeat that, so it sinks in. I’ve signed up to walk a marathon. Salisbury to Winchester. 26.2 miles. Walk. In October.
This is not quite how I’d envisaged walking the Clarendon Way when I put it on The List; I’d planned to do it in sections over several days. But then my boss told me about the Clarendon Marathon (http://www.clarendon-marathon.co.uk/) and suggested I enter that. For some reason I thought it might be a good idea. It’s actually a running marathon but they let you register as a walker, and just make you start two hours earlier than the runners. Only two hours?? Therein lies the downside of doing this particular event. There’s a time limit. I have to complete in 8 hours maximum. That’s basically 18 minute miles constantly, and this route is 90% off road and very hilly. Normal walking pace is about 20 minute miles and not over marathon distance.
I’ve done a bit of research and most advice seems to be that the only way you can train to walk a marathon is by walking. Which is lucky since I don’t do any other form of exercise. So, lots and lots of walking it is. Since the idea was first floated around 22nd April I’ve been walking five days a week, starting with 2-3 miles a day, building up a longer walk once a week. 4 miles, 5 miles, 6 miles. The furthest I’ve walked so far at ‘race pace’ is 9 miles. I’m training at 15 minute miles on the basis that the marathon itself should then be a bit easier as I don’t have to go that fast to finish in time. I’ve now completed over 100 miles in training so figured it was about time to put my money where my mouth is and register. Entry fee paid, I’m in. I’ve also ordered myself a T-Shirt and a medal since I’m never likely to do anything like this again…
I’m actually less scared by the distance I’ll be walking than the time commitment I’m going to have to give to training. There have already been a couple of early mornings to get in a 3 mile walk before breakfast and work because otherwise there is no time in the day for a walk. That’s fine when it’s 3 miles and it takes 45 minutes but once the distance increases that’s going to be challenging. The longest I’ll walk in training before the actual marathon is 20 miles.
If I’m going to do this crazy thing then I might as well do it for a good cause, to which end I’m walking to raise money for Wessex Heartbeat – a local research, education and support charity which is literally close to the heart in my family as we have genetically linked heart conditions which has affected all generations. Hopefully this will take me some way towards #23 on The List – my £1000 fundraising target. If you’d like to sponsor me, my Justgiving page is: http://www.justgiving.com/ChelseawalkstheClarendonMarathon
The marathon is on Sunday 6th October: 119 days away and 85 of those are, in theory, walking days. I’ll get me boots then…