Across 2019, our very own Steve Plummer achieved the remarkable feat of 12 marathons in 12 months. Here’s what he had to say …..
In 2019 I set myself the challenge of trying to run a marathon every month. A chance conversation with someone who was in the middle of his challenge put the thought in my head. Maybe this was something I could try as well?
I have run one or two marathons a year for the last few years. In theory, it sounded like it shouldn’t be a step too far for me to try. Also in my plans I had a race called the “Space Coast Marathon”. This takes place on 1st December, running along the Florida coastline . It’s close to the Kennedy Space Centre and hence where the race name and branding comes from. This sounded like a fitting finale and something to work holiday plans around. I just had to work out the other 11 months before this!
My challenge couldn’t have started off worse really. The only run that would fit into my diary for January was running around a reservoir multiple times in Barnsley. The race organisers were called “Grim up North”. After 20 miles of atrocious weather, I felt it was safer to retire before my shivering and exhaustion turned into something more serious. Better to make a safe decision and give it another crack another day.
This should have scuppered my marathon a month plans. Luckily, there was enough time left in January to regroup and run 26 miles around Birmingham’s canals. January DONE, I was on my way.
My tour of Britain continued with marathons on the Kent coast in Deal, some flooded roads in Wrexham and jogging up and down Blackpool seafront. In May it was Liverpool and then on 9th June in Yeovil I got my marathon pb of 3 hours 57 minutes. Woohoo!!!
Races and weekends away continued through the year. I picked up a calf injury in September which I tried to look after for a few months. This I found quite stressful as there was not much time to rest up. Luckily though it got better after a couple of weeks of rest and taking it easy.
Finally, I made it to to December with 11 marathon’s completed and the Space Coast Marathon left to go. What a day!!! The alarm clock went off at 3am to get on one of the US yellow school buses to take you out to the start line. At 6am on the start line you have a real life astronaut giving a countdown for the race, 5-4-3-2-1……….. The scenery was stunning and the weather perfect. A beautiful sunrise and amazing houses to admire. It was fun too watching pelicans fishing for there breakfasts. It certainly felt a long way from my car crash of a race in Barnsley!!!!
After the usual tiredness for the last 6 miles it was all over. A brilliant medal, unlimited breakfast and beer, rounded off my marathon challenge in style.
As I write this I still have a massive sense of satisfaction. It still feels a bit surreal. Working out how to keep the body in one piece and organising the time away was as much a challenge as the races themselves. As for 2020 I am looking at beating all of my PB’s, including 1 mile, 5k, 10k, half marathon and full marathon times. So far so good with this.
I have always loved my running and maybe now more than ever. It feels great, you can have been doing a sport for over 30 years and find that you are still improving