Skip to content

In It For The Long Run - by Karen Bennett

In It For The Long Run - by Karen Bennett

In It For The Long Run - By Karen Bennett

Hands up if you used to love watching London marathon on the TV, but doubled up panting if you tried running around the block?

I definitely fell into that category. It’s not that I wasn’t active, it’s just that my brother was the talented runner in our family, whilst I, well, I wasn’t.  Running a marathon was on my bucket list, though. After missing out in the London ballot ten times and with my 40th birthday looming, I figured I might as well get my midlife crisis underway and entered Brighton marathon in 2013.

Too worried about holding people back on my long runs, I went out by myself week after week. On race day I made the rookie error of going out too quickly and detonated at 16 miles. The final ten miles were a mixture of sobbing, pain and adrenaline fuelled ecstasy. Within an hour of crossing the line, my once in a lifetime marathon had morphed into ‘another one could be fun’.

I’m a teacher and had planned on using Brighton to raise funds for a Ugandan school that we’re linked with, but after overhearing a teaching colleague comment that ‘everyone runs marathons for charity these days’, after Brighton I decided to try my hand at a 24-hour event. Somehow I’d convinced myself that sobbing my way to end of one marathon meant that I could survive 24 hours on my feet. My training plan wasn’t exactly a plan. In fact it constituted not running further than 20 miles in one go after Brighton, before rocking up at Endure 24, with no idea what I was letting myself in for. Turns out I was letting myself in for a whole lot of fun, a 24-hour picnic, a fair bit of hobbling and quite a bit of time emptying my guts in the port-a-loos. 75 miles later and I was hooked.  I’d found a sport I loved; one in which walking up hills and chatting was actively encouraged.

After a few years of one marathon and a couple of ultras a year, I fell in with the wrong crowd, the sort of people your mother warns you about.  A strange bunch of individuals, many of whom sport 100 Marathon Club tops. They convinced me that running marathons on a more regular basis would take away the need to train in between. I was sucked in. Next, they persuaded me that on lapped timed events, running/staggering a bonus lap, to make it up to an ultra marathon, made sense.

It was inevitable that, in the end, the thought of trying my hand at a 100 miler would worm it’s way into my brain. As I approached 45 in January, just a few events short of notching up my 50th marathon/ultra, this year seemed as good as any to give it a shot. After months of building up the miles, including a couple of double 50km weekends, my body reminded me that I’m not as young as I used to be. A grumbling Achilles knocked my training on the head for a few weeks at the end of January. With only a month to go, my first long run back was a marathon, the first of three in a week, before starting to taper. My Achilles held up and I began to believe that maybe it wasn’t such a ludicrous idea after all.

With less than a week to go before I set off into the unknown, am I ready? Is it even possible to be ready? I’m pretty damn stubborn and have enough supplies crammed into the boot of my car to keep small family going. Does it even matter if I cross the finish line? Whether I do, or whether I don’t, I will give it my best shot. I will make myself proud.

Here’s to believing that anything it possible. Here’s not to not being afraid of failing. Here’s to being a Runr.

Huge thanks to Karen for sharing her running adventure with us... we can't wait to hear how she gets on with the 100 miles!!
If you'd like to share your running journey then get in touch with us at
Happy running.
Team Runr.

Your cart is empty