5am and my alarm told me to get up!
Saturday had arrived and I was feeling excited at the prospect
of running about 40 miles, if not a little nervous. After
a quick bath to warm-up, breakfast of porridge and plenty of
liquids, I left the house feeling positive. The weather
looked good - sunny and warm. I switched on my forerunner,
set my headphones to playing and after getting satellite signal
I was ready to go. I ran down Ridgeway Road towards Port
Jack - I was going to do this.
Out along Groudle it was very quiet. The
rest of the world, including my support, Ernie, were still fast
asleep at 6am. I ran steadily at 9 minute miles and slowly
got the mileage up. I wanted to run on the perimeter roads
so did a detour near Lonan Old Church before arriving in Laxey.
By now the first bus had gone past - a sign the world was
waking. After Dhoon Glen I phoned Ernie. He told me
he would meet me in about an hour. I was not sure if I
should run towards Port Cornaa, off to the right, but as I did
not know the road I did not and stuck to the main road. As
it was I would have come out at the Glen Mona Pub anyway.
I phoned Kevin Ford on 3FM to update him of my whereabouts and
he said he would broadcast it on air. There was a lady
ahead of me walking 3 large noisy dogs. I avoided them by
walking on the other side of the road. Apart from that it
was very quiet on the road as I approached the turning off to
Suddenly I came across a junction and I had no
idea where to run and had no map with me. (I did think I
knew the island). I was down from the main road with
Ballaglass off to the road and no idea of where the road ahead
went. I knew I had walked down here before, as it is part
of the Parish Walk, but running the opposite way in daylight was
very confusing. I phoned Ernie and he told me, after
consulting a map, to keep going straight on. Infact after
100 metres I knew where I was and knew I was on the road to
Hibernia. Ballajora Hill was steep and my legs complained
as I ran slowly down it. I was now averaging 10 minute
At Maughold I sat on a bench to eat and drink
from my water. I was wearing my trusty 'Camelbak', a
hydration system which was holding Powerade, which i could drink
through a straw attached to the bladder. As soon as I sat
down Ernie arrived in his car. From now on today he would
be my support, providing me with food and water. I had
covered 17 miles and was nearly half-way. We decided to
get a pasty in Ramsey for our lunch so I set off running through
Port-E-Vullen whilst he had a look at Maughold.
I arrived in Ramsey at lunchtime. We found
a baker's and I explained to the assistant what I was doing.
She told me she knewabout the Double Parish Walk. We ate
on a bench overlooking the harbour. Then I headed north to
Bride. The roads were quiet country lanes by now.
Once in Bride I ran down the deceptively long road to Jurby.
Ernie met me at every mile or so in case I needed food or drink.
I was eating alot of bananas. I also had fig roll biscuits
and cakes with me. Before The Lhen I was met by a
photographer from the newspapers. He took photos of me
running for publicity. I had run the equivalent of a
marathon by now.
At Ballaugh Old Church I turned off to run
through Orrisdale. This is part of the end-to-end walking
race, but is not all that familiar to me. I began to tire.
I was reaching 35 miles in about 6 hours. The weather was
beautiful for running, but my legs felt heavy and the road
seemed to always be going uphill, (I am sure it was not).
So it was with much relief that I ran into Kirk Michael, knowing
the finish at the 'Mitre Hotel' was just yards away. Sure
enough Ernie was there to cheer me to the door. I had run
38 miles, according to my Garmin Forerunner, in just under 7
hours. I was delighted but stiff, sore and very tired.
We celebrated with a pint, although being sat down was even
I arrived home to discover a large blood blister
on my left big toe. I lanced it, drained it and put a
sterile dressing on it. I prayed it would heal before
Sunday, and amazingly it did. I went to Mass that evening
as I was reading at St Anthony's. After that it was food
and bed. I felt a bit sick due to low blood sugar, so had
midnight cake snacks and more bananas. I slept well and
woke at 6am feeling positive about the 40 miler coming today.
After a bath with Raadox Muscle Soak, (wonderful bath foam), and
plenty of porridge, i met Ernie to begin the drive back to Kirk
Michael in order to run South and continue the run round the
island. I was a bit nervous as the course was full of
The weather on Sunday was good. It would
get hot by the time I was in Castletown, but at least it was
dry. I left the door of the Mitre at 8.45am and ran south
to Peel. There was the round the island yacht race taking
place and the yachts were sailing along the West Coast. It
was windy and they were moving faster than I was. I was
happy to be running at 10.5 to 11 minute miles. I wanted
to average 11 minute miles, and had averaged 10.5 minute miles
yesterday. However my quad muscles in my legs were stiff
and sore and the first few miles were uncomfortable.
However I persevered and by 10 o'clock was in Peel. I
stopped for a pasty and water and watched the yachts in Peel
Bay. Then I rang for 15 minutes with the Peel Church
Bellringers at Kirk German Cathedral. I have been ringing
Church Bells for nearly 20 years so was delighted to ring with
the Peel band for Sunday morning service. At 10.30am I
said goodbye to my friends and started running towards Glen Maye.
Yesterday I had had problems around 8 miles and
today was a repeat. My legs felt heavy and I felt energy
less. All I could do was walk and tell myself I would feel
better soon. I was drinking and eating plenty. Ernie
would meet me later due to church commitments, including
bellringing as he is Tower Captain of St George's in Douglas, so
again it was a case of ignoring the pain and taking it easy for
a while. Sure enough i picked up and was flying by the
time I reached Dalby. I love these moments of pure ecstasy
where i feel on cloud 9, the island looks beautiful, the lambs
look lovely in the fields and the sea is blue. At these
times I sing for joy and the miles fly past. At Dalby
Ravina Talbot gave me £10 for the charity and offered me water
and toilet facilities. Thanks - it was a wonderful
Then the slog began. Today was hilly and
the start was out of Dalby to the Round Table. Again the
low mood took over as I struggled to walk up the steep hills.
I was relieved to reach the Round Table in good sunny weather
and with the knowledge that the Sloc would give me beautiful
views of the wonderful island soon. Ernie phoned and said
he was on his way - he met me at the bottom of the Sloc. I
ran / walked to the top of the Sloc and the view was
magnificent. (Aren't I lucky to live and run on such a
beautiful piece of rock!) However the steep descent, followed by
the even steeper descent of Ballakillowey, was very painful on
my poor tired and sore quad muscles.
Manx Radio were doing a stirling job, as always,
of publicising my run. I was interviewed, live, at 8am and
again through the morning. I do love talking on the radio
- I talk too much I admit! It began to rain as I
approached Port Erin, just as Ernie met me in his car. We
took shelter in the 'Falcon's Nest Bar' and when the rain had
stopped we ate sandwiches. The presenter on Manx Radio
wanted me to do some live interviews with the presenter on that
afternoon, who had talked to me on the Double Parish Walk.
I agreed. I left Port Erin by walking to Cregneash via the
very small single track road. Then I turned to begin
walking North from Cregneash. By now my legs were very
painful when it came to walking down steep hills.
The sun shone as I ran along Gansey, eating and
drinking as much as possible. I arrived in Castletown
feeling very warm. I knew my parents were landing at the
airport at 3.30pm, but thought I would not get to meet them as I
was going too slow. However rnie spotted their plane taxi-ing
in and told me he would stop them before I got there.
Infact, just as they walked out of arrivals, I met them outside.
I could not have timed it any better! It was lovely seeing
them and I hugged them.
On and on I ran. There was an emergency at
the airport just after my parents left and numerous police,
ambulance and fire cars raced past into Ballasalla.
Fortunately none were needed. I joined the Old Castletown
Road feeling very tired and sore. The last interview I
gave live on Manx Radio was when I had reached the 'Meary Veg'
turn-off. I was positive but underneath I had had enough!
I struggled on over the last few miles- walking the uphills and
gingerly jogging down the slopes. By the time I reached
Manx Radio from Marine Drive I had run nearly 40 miles. I
walked along the Prom for the last mile whilst Ernie kept a
close eye on me. He then parked his car outside my flat
and walked to me. We walked the last few steps together,
back to my home. I had run 41 miles in 7 hours 49 minutes.
I was delighted.
I slept well, despite having sore knees. I
prayed that the treadmill would be easily moved on the next day
and would work. Thankfully it did. After bacon
butties for everyone, Nigel arrived in the Salvation Army van
and Ernie, my friend David, Nigel and I carried the 2 parts of
the treadmill into the van. It worked fine as I ran the
last 21 miles on it outside Chester Street Shoprite, Douglas.
I had permission from the store and DOLGE. It rained
incessantly but where I was running it was covered. David
logged the times for each kilometre in case the treadmill cut
out. I ran 5 miles and had a 5 minute break and repeated
this. I was running comfortably at 9km/hr. My family
came to see me running, which was lovely for me. They are
wonderful at supporting me in my running. Eventually the miles
disappeared as the Kemmyrk committee members and Ernie collected
money for Kemmyrk in buckets outside the store. Then it
was over.....I had run the 21 miles and it was time to stop.
The champagne was opened and I celebrated running back-to-back
almost 40-milers followed by 21 miles. I raised a total of
I am very proud of this run. It showed me
what JOGLE will be like next year in May 2010. Being able
to run long and slow is what I need to do and I love it. I
am determined to finish JOGLE and this was just one step of the