Day 10 – it’s been a blast

Well here we are the final blog, on what has been a emotional and bloody brilliant journey… Day 10, what you are told is the victory lap around the lake… run 9 they say then the 10th is just a bit of a laugh…..all 26.2 miles…

The day started with physio, putting the magic back in the muscles and more rock tape over my calf, knee and hip to keep me intact… then off to the athlete’s room for the last time. It was a weird feeling as the mood was focused, but full of nervous excitement… so near and yet so far away from our goal. I had the chance to say hello to David and Alice who were now up to support and tears flowed at the emotion of it all.

I was asked by Aly to lead the team out for the final parade in front of all of the one day marathoners who come to run the last day with us, and say a few words. I talked about our magnificent journey, the three people we had lost from our bubble on the way, the magic of the lake and how we couldn’t wait for them to join us to help raise more money for the magnificent Brathay Trust.

And with that we were off … the 10 in 10ers get to leave 1 hour early ahead of the main race, so from the go it feels like the hounds chasing the hares…. Can you get round the lake before the quality runners at the front of the field catch you. Ironically it was the quietest 1st half marathon of the week and I quickly was on my own as the field stretched out. I ignored my watch and ran as I felt, trying to enjoy the last run. Waved my last goodbye to the pigs, with Precilla standing to attention and moved on. I passed Trudi at 10 miles ( as she had set –off earlier to help her be at the victory parade) we had a kiss as she has been the best roomie I could have wished for. Supporting each other through the highs and lows of the 10 days. A friend for life …. J

At Newby Bridge the turning point on the lake, I was overjoyed to see David’s and my good mates Baz and Yvonne Chapman, who had weathered the rain to come over on their motorbike to see me ( a total honour to think they had travelled from the NE that day to see me ). We exchanged a few words and I carried on, they were then there in Bowness, the crowds cheered me on, and they then passed me again at 21 miles…. Up ice-cream mountain for the last time and then through the last 4 miles, with a very emotional last 1.5 through Ambleside, the support was breath-taking, every biker, every car, every walker shouting well done, keep going, your brilliant…. Up the last mile to the drive the bloody uphill drive for the last 0.2 miles of the 262 mile journey…. Compose yourself Cloughie and enjoy the moment…..i ran down the finishing mat, dibbed my timer for the last time and fell into the arms of David and Alice… Smiles, celebrations all round and the job was done.

Over the last 10 days I have ran 262 miles, around 460,000 steps and can’t think how many calories burned. I have made friends for life, made 6K for a wonderful cause (as a group we will touch 100K) and ran all the 10 marathons within 9 mins of each other… Day 1 4.00, Day 2 4.06 Day 3 3.58, Day 4 3.57, Day 5 4.02, Day 6 4.03, Day 7 4.05, Day 8, 4.06, Day 9 4.02 and Day 10 3.58. Total time 40.23.31, 1st lady and I think I have a new record for the F40 group. However none of that really matters at all, the power of the team event, is seeing us all achieve our goal, and watching my good mate Trudie cross the line yesterday who had one ever ran one marathon, was the true inspiration and hero of the 2017 class of Brathay.

As per my line in our opening words…. Take every chance you get in life because somethings only happen once.

Thank you all for your support and the money you have raised really will make a difference to the lives of so many kids…….. now where is that hot bath and the wine J


Day 9

pic is of the student who went in the ice bath with us and raised £100 – fair play

Today was a weird day, so near yet so far and the bubble of Brathay popping slightly for a variety of reasons, the quiet place we have loved for the last few days is now getting ready for the family fun day tomorrow. Further more the team of 16 runners, has now become 13 with the beast of the lake and hilly course taking its toll and injuries preventing people going any further, it was hard starting today, hearing that Bob had to pull out.  Each time we’ve lost someone it feels painful, like losing a member of your team who’s shared this emotional rollercoaster with you! Bob, Malcolm and Kevin ,you are legends and I’ve been proud to run with you and be living in the same pad for 10 days. You were all gents and love you all!

Tomorrow is for you all and Martin our old camera dude, the gentleman of Brathay who passed away last year who was the camera man who had previously captured all other events ! You’ve been with us every step of the way and tomorrow is for you!

The actualrun today was  steady, and in many ways I just needed it out of the way, every step felt, every bump a struggle but at the end of today’s run i knew I would get to see David and Alice, ( I’ve told andrew to stay at home as he’s got a level revision for his Alevels). The weather was cooler which was good, the run itself was a decent one, with niggles niggling but not getting any worse.

I finished in 4.03, so that 235.8 miles now compelted in 9 days, with 26.2 miles to go, steady away and i dream of the finish line.  The support from the lakes people has been immense has been the family and friend support, with just short of  six thousand pounds raised, I am overwhelmed. Thank you from the bottom of my heart, achy legs and blistered feet… I must get my trainers on again, give my last kisses to the pigs and get the job done!

Day 8 – exhausted, but 200 miles ticked off


Funny old day, slept so badly and now eating is such an effort. You would reckon running for 26.2 miles per day for the last 7 days would make you hungry and tired, however the lack of appetite and dancing legs in the middle of the night is a nightmare.

The only time I feel like eating has been for the last 2 nights at 2 and 3am which has meant it’s felt like a kid’s midnight snack with custard creams and chocolate. Breakfast was painful but then so was the physio, but the start line followed and so did the run. Pigs were out, and they looked happy, so I was as we ticked off the 1st drinks station.

Funny there wasn’t much to report from the run, my usual talking to myself, around each hill and bend, the sense of the blisters banging against your shoes alongside the hip ache I have now had for 3 days.

As I approached Bowness the 200 miles goal came up, so near and yet so far from the end. I am very tired now and I know the next day or so will need me to dig deep, I only hope I can and the tight calf I felt in the last 3 miles does not give me too much grief for the next few days. I eased up at 23, as I was anxious, but maybe that is nerves, nerves as we have come so far, but maybe a few more miles to tick off to reach our goal. The physio team are outstanding and so much so, I have given them honouree 5 star badges, I have never seen so much delight in one photo…

Thank you all for your support and sponsorship, the kids on site this week have been a joy to watch, many of them experiencing new things for the 1st time and the happiness on their faces, as they are given an opportunity to be themselves, is worth the pain in my ankles, legs and toes.

Day 9 awaits…

Day 7, emotional train wreck but on the up.

Day 7

I can only describe myself as an emotional mess this morning for a variety of reasons, 6 done, but still a long way to go, alongside pain in most parts of my legs and toes. Doubt was creeping in, knowing I had done so well to get this far, but at the same time I had 4 more laps to do.

To top that off, I felt sick, the 5 gels a race alongside the sheer volume of exercise and interrupted sleep ( which seems bonkers, but with your body and legs laid in bed, but wanting to move all the time) grabbing an hour or 2 of sleep not being interrupted is a blessing. I took 30 mins to eat a bowl of porridge, with 8 shots of sugar in, even Goldilocks would have complained about it, but mouthful by mouthful I got it down.

There were tears on the physio table, tears when I got the card from my great team at work and tears as I went to the start…but the start I made and set off. I gave myself a good talking to and said one marathon today – 12 drinks stations and then I can rest (well until the next day.) And that’s just what I did, a drinks station at a time.

On a positive – the pigs waved me off and I have some pictures to share as you can see – feel the love with these fella’s 🙂 ;-)and the support from the cars on the course today, from so many randomers was exceptional.

I got back in 4.05 to read the best message on Facebook ever from my husband, and decided it was day that only got better. With less than 100 miles to go now, better get on with it. Superb support from everyone back home, can’t thank you enough for the emotional and sponsorship. It means a lot.

Day 6 – job done but it wasn’t pretty, but neither are my feet :-)

So the sun was peeking out from the clouds and from the very 1st step I was more than half-way there, followed by the delightful appearance of Percy, Pricilla and Paul the pigs at 1 ¾ miles I was hoping for a good day.

However if I am honest, it was hard graft today, not for a mile of it or so, for every 44,000 steps it takes to do the course. Hard work in my head and hard work in my hip, but on a positive I could have dropped my head and had a tough time, a few tears emerged when I thought of David, Andrew and Alice back home, but in many ways, they were shouting at me – get it done “mam” and that’s what I did. 4.03, so steady away and moving towards the goal of Sunday.

One thing that is the weirdest thing I thought I would share, and most of you will think this is mad, but we are all struggling to eat or at times it’s hard. Struggling to eat large amounts, yet it is the most important thing to do…. However I woke up at 3am last night and tucked into a bag of Cheese and Onion crisps J did make myself laugh but then breakfasts are a struggle. I will say I think I have found my one true love in Cheese and chips sandwiches, which are my post run treat…

Less of the food and more of the thanks, as I have now smashed my 1st total of 5K, which is just awesome. Thank you all. If ever there was a reminder as I came back up the Brathay bank for the finish there were a group of kids on site, gaining all the benefits of the Brathay bubble and that could not have been a better sight as I came up on to the lawn to finish, with only the thought of the 2 hours of physio and 10 min ice bath ahead to dampen the mood J The students from university of Carlisle are magnificent, and its them who are stitching me back up ( and popping my blisters ) every day to go and run another marathon…. I best just do that then…Day 7 awaits… and in the meantime my roomie may Trudie who has only ever ran one marathon before this event, has just done 6 in 6 – go girl, if you believe it is possible.

For anyone wanting to donate then please

Day 5 131 miles done


So today started with some anxiety, as I have an excruciating pain in my hip, walking was painful, however I could still walk, so that was a positive. Life in the house for 10 days, starts with a training weekend back in January, where you get to meet your fellow runners ( nutters), and from then on you go on the journey together, fundraising, training plans shared and occasionally injury updates. And then when you are here, you enter what I can only describe as a bubble, a running bubble with 16 people all trying to achieve the same thing, a personal challenge of 262 miles but more significantly raise a bucket load of money for this worthy cause.

Well today the bubble was shattered a little all be what we hope temporarily as Malcom Collins who has done the 10 in 10 four times before had to retire. He came in with a knee injury and the one thing about this hilly course, it takes no prisoners. It was a sad start to the day, and I can only describe Malc as true gent who really holds Brathay and the lake close to his heart. Retiring was a tough decision but the right one.

To help lighten the mood, Day 5 is ladies day, which means the girls running get to go off 1st J but in the true spirit of the event, our 2nd year student physio’s lightened the mood and came in ladies attire ( or the lads did).

Off we went at 10.30 as normal and the 1st three miles were the hardest for me so far, I was just putting one step in front of the other, with the hip hurting so much. Pigs were hidden away again ( but what a shock it was raining again) so I don’t blame them. I got to 4 miles and then you enter the village of Hawskhead, the highlight of the run, is all the kids in the local primary school shouting your name and giving you high fives, as you come past. The school supports the event every year and I am not afraid to say it brings a tear to your eye or two. It makes you proud of what you are trying to do and you know how special this event is.

The miles ticked by and finally by mile 9 I had grown used to the pain in the hip, the rain strengthened and my mental resolve did too. Mile 14 came and I approached the hilliest section, which is my favourite bit ( no idea why). Coming into mile 20 Bowness was a bit busier so a few nice shout outs and the same on the last 6 miles of the race.

So that is it, I have completed the Happy Hump day, but who knows what is ahead, 131 miles done with the same again tomorrow, but as soon as I am round the 1st bend, I have done more than halfway.

Thanks to everyone for their support it really makes such a difference, I am now around 80 pound short of the 5K…. so thank you all for your generosity!


Day 4 – Even the Ducks had a umbrella’s today

Day 4

What can I say, but it has been a day of torrential rain from beginning to end, and I do think it may have been easier to swim the route rather than run it.

Percy, Pricilla and Paul had the right idea, cuddled up in their sty with no sight or sound of them as I passed their field at 10.45 this morning I could have so easily jumped in and joined them. I didn’t and I kept running, with the hardest day on the course so far.

No-one likes Monday’s do they, it could be said the 6.09 train from Northallerton to Kings Cross had more appeal than the monsoon conditions today. Anyway, I plodded on and the one thing I will say, is after the high of the weekend without family and friends on the course, then I had in my mind today was one for me to be with my own thoughts, not thinking about it only being Day 4, but about each 2 mile interval between each drink station, steady away.

I would say that the one thing that never fails to make you smile and give you that gee-up as you need is the random strangers who continue to beep you and give you the thumbs up, locals knowing the event challenge and the worthiness of the cause, leaning out of the windows shouting, keep going Lucy.

Bowness on Windermere was dead, the complete opposite to the sun and tourist trap it was yesterday, with the ducks and Swans looking for shelter. The last 3 miles hurt like crazy, I am close to losing 4 toenails and had skin like a prune, hoping to avoid the ice bath. However we got the pleasure of 10 mins in there today at 6 degrees and I still have Adam and Katie supporting me with physio, which I can only describe as torture for another hour.

I haven’t got anything else to say and then that’s me done for my blog, as I am feeling it… tired, emotional and still so aware of the the distance to go, 104.8 miles in the bag, tomorrow allows us to get half way.

In the words of the Boom town rats… tell me why I don’t like Mondays……

Boom – top day, no doutbt i will suffer tomorrow

Day 3 

Well the sun was shining and the air tuned blue in physio this am, as Josh who normally looks after me was ill, so I got Adam the head of the clinic…. And boy oh boy didn’t I know it. The aim of physio on the morning is to flush out any dead legs and stuff from the day before, I can only say it was a bit like Heineken beer and he certainly touched legs muscles I didn’t know existed… a few expletives later and we were on our way.

With the sun out, I planned to take it easy as we keep getting told, we’ve a long way to go. However the signs were great Percy, Pricilla and Paul the pigs were out and gave us all a merry wave.

I would say the blisters and black toes I am starting to gain, did hurt at 1st, but you kind of “grow” into them, however at for the 1st 9 miles I was fighting my head, thinking how can I do this for 7 more days. It really is groundhog day and I do feel like a hamster on a wheel, I’ve stepped on and can’t step off… I made it to the bottom of the lake and hit mile 14, feeling ok, for the next 4 miles it is rolling hills up! I got through them and started to feel strong…. But running as I felt comfortable with.

I made it through Bowness at 20 miles and from then on other than the mighty Brathay drive and Ice-cream Mountain the course really is much flatter. At 21,5 miles, I came up Ice-cream mountain and saw David, Alice and the dogs, tears flowed, loads of hugs and Bobby the dog went mental barking like crazy as he normally runs with me. What can I say it spurred me on and I finished the last 5 miles very strong and did something I didn’t feel was possible, a negative split and a sub 4 hours’ time ( PB ) 3.59.05 which smashed all my expectations.

The 8 min ice bath in the torture chamber was the most painful thing I thought I’d experienced, then I was back on the table to be beaten by Adam and the students to make sure I get my back-side out on the course again and do it all again tomorrow.

Thank you all for your support, the family and friends on the course were fab, but even more amazing is the strangers who give you a shout out, just as you think you are having a blue moment you get another lift…. This hamster is not ready to get of the wheel yet… day 4 let us be having you!

Day 2 54.4 miles done…

Well Day 2 done and dusted, 54.4 miles ticked off the total, so the pain is building. 3 toenails now black, and pain in my ankle, but at the same time, 2 down which is a good feeling.  The day started grey and with light drizzle, much better than the day before when it was hot at the start, the down side is the pigs, in Percy, Priscilla and Paul were hiding away from the rain and made the start to the day a bit tougher.  So to get you through this type of event, there is a fab team of student physio’s from Lancaster uni, and lucky old me has this 6ft 4 bruiser who goes by the name of Josh…. Making life all the more bearable   However, he turns up today in a West Ham top and mad fan,  born and bred in Manchester…I kid you not…. I did laugh and think Trevor Bull must have paid him,,,to wear that top for a joke…. Back to the serious stuff, the course if anyone of you can imagine in the lakes is not  bloody flat, and every twist and turn has some up or down, which really gives the body some grief and is a course you have to respect… There is a hill at 7 miles called Devils gallop and really sorts you out, then miles 14-17 all up hill, with a little beauty of a hill at mile 21 called ice-cream mountain, I will stop one of the days to have one from the van… My plan for the event really is to try and enjoy each run, and enjoy the scenery, but most of all stay as injury free as you can.  Biggest challenge I have is 2 blisters and 3 black toenails already… not sure how many will be hanging on at the end, I can only hope. So the plan is now to eat as much food as I can, stay with the feet up in the air, and rest. In many ways I am living my own version of the film ground hog day…alarm at 7.15, eat, physio, run, stretch, eat, ice bath, physio, eat and bed…  What ever pain I am starting to feel and however tired I am, when you come back to Brathay, and see the place that makes such a difference to so many kids, giving them a chance in life and support they have not previously had, it makes me want to stay on the hamster wheel and go again.  Thank you – 2 down 8 to go     Day2


Day 1 26.2 miles done 235.8 miles to go

26.2 miles done… 235.8 miles to go.

So after ten months after being accepted for the event, race day 1 was finally here…. Ahead of the 16 people trying to conquer this challenge was 26.2 miles of 262 in total. The course is challenging with 1700ft of climbing, and every step of the way undulating, added to the fact the weather was gorgeous for the lakes, a daunting challenge ahead.

What can I say, delighted to see my friends the pigs at the farm 3 miles in, Percy, Precious and Paul, always make me smile, they are only out in good weather… any way about the run, decent and steady away, the hills from 14 – 17 never get any easier and passing the pub at 13 and 20 miles… are so tempting. Decent day at the office, but this challenge is not about one day, it’s the culmination of the miles and the pain that will be ahead. However whatever pain I go through it is worth it to make a difference, a big difference to the Kids who benefit from Brathay, many of them have suffered abuse, challenging environments to grow up in and significant social challenge. I can’t tell you the significant impression some of the young adults who have previously spoken about the help and life changing help Brathay provides, which makes it all worth it…. Best get up in the morning and run another 26.2 miles…