The London Marathon... and then some.
In May I will be taking part in the London to Brighton Challenge - a 62 mile (100km) walk from Richmond, London to Brighton Race Course to raise money for London's Air Ambulance. The question is how do you train for such a distance? Well when people train for a marathon, they would run a half marathon... so with that logic to train for an ultra marathon you do a marathon. Right?
The first London Marathon was on 29 March 1981 and has been held in the spring every year since. It was founded by Chris Brasher, former Olympic track and field champion turned sports journalist and athlete John Disley. Organised by Hugh Brasher (son of Chris) and Nick Bitel the race begins at three separate points around Blackheath and finishes on The Mall. Since the beginning in 1981, the participants have raised £716 million and the race holds a Guinness World Record for one-day charity fundraising, a record it has broken each year for the last eight years.
Today's walk started at home (early, very early) and headed down to the start line on Blackheath via the Greenwich Foot Tunnel. Heading east past the Woolwich Artillery Barracks the course heads back west back into Greenwich to the Cutty Sark. Through Surrey Quays and Bermondsey it heads along Jamaica Road and over Tower Bridge.
From there the course heads east again, on the Highway, past Wapping, Shadwell and Limehouse and around the Isle of Dogs through Canary Wharf. It then heads back west on the Highway, past London Bridge and heads along the Embankment, through Parliament Square, down Birdcage Walk and ends on The Mall with Buckingham Palace behind you.
With the 'race' finished it was just a short stroll home via the City, Whitechapel and Mile End.
Distance: around 39 miles.