It’s July 2020. The UK has been in lockdown for four months. We’ve drunk more bottles of wine than we care to admit and never want to see a home HIIT workout again. We’ve even cut ourselves a dodgy fringe and dyed our hair pink (that’s a story for another day). Then, scrolling through Tiktok at 11 pm on a Wednesday night, I see a girl in America walk a marathon with zero training, just for the fun of it.
I show my housemate, suggest we give it a go and we both give a sheepish laugh …one hour later we’re on Google Maps and planning the 26-mile route around Nottingham.
– Water bottle
– Solid running trainers
– Caffeine source (but don’t drink it too early, save for halfway)
– Sun cream (even in February, SPF every day!)
– Portable charger (optional)
This should really be called how NOT to walk a marathon as the first thing we did was stay up until 3am talking to a friend on Facetime. Our 8am planned start quickly changed to 10am, but we got our rucksacks (or tote bag in my case, which was again not the most practical choice). We chucked in some bananas, a packet of Oreos, crackers and water – a true athletes’ diet – and head off.
Wollaton was first on the list, and it was the first time I’d ever seen the deer there which was a nice surprise! After a couple hours we stopped in Beeston for a Greggs and Costa for a little pick me up.
It was also here that the trainers came off and the plasters went on
Then came Attenborough Nature Reserve with its tranquil waters and wildlife. After this, we headed to the River Trent, where we dug out an old padlock and added it to the hundreds on the bridge. I would definitely recommend taking a padlock if you’re on a little adventure (or on that first post lockdown holiday abroad!) as it’s a pretty cute thing to do. Onwards to Holme Pierrepoint which is essentially a massive 5km loop with some handy meter marks. It was also here that the trainers came off and the plasters went on (another essential to have in the bag) and a phone call to mum just to confirm we were still alive.
It was the home stretch by now. A quick stop at Maccies and the last few miles spent aimlessly walking around Lenton until the 26.2 miles was hit on Strava. After literally falling through the door, I recommend spending a solid half an hour lying on the floor, then order a big old takeaway, take the time to feel chuffed with yourself, and of course upload an Instagram so everyone knows you’ve done it! 10/10 would recommend.
Featured and in-article images courtesy of Victoria Hornagold. No changes were made to the image.
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