Meet Ian Murrells. He’s one of our van drivers and he’s just completed a marathon in a day walking round a field! He did it as part of our ‘Your Marathon Your Pace’ virtual event and he’s raised more than £1,700 for our charity. So why did he decide to take on his one-day challenge? We asked Ian to tell us all about it:
What made me decide to do the marathon? First reason is that my Father spent the last hours of his life at Mount Edgcumbe Hospice in October 1998. Second reason is that I’d been furloughed and was walking around a field I own with my daughter as our daily exercise during lockdown. I said to Anna, my daughter, that I should get sponsored to do this. At the back of mind was the postponement of the London Marathon and our ‘Your Marathon Your Pace’ event.
A plan came together! If I did the marathon in the field, I wouldn’t have to worry about meeting people in narrow lanes and social distancing. I’m always up for a challenge so why not do it in a day I thought. I’ve not been able run now for about 5 years due to ankle injuries suffered earlier in my life. When I was 23, in 1979, I was attacked by a bull in a field (I worked on a farm) and my leg was smashed just above the ankle. I had it reconstructed with a plate, 9 screws and a bone graft from my hip!
The ankle didn’t really trouble me on the day, it was the rest of my body! I do a lot of cycling so I’m reasonably fit, but it didn’t prepare me for the walk. I was a bit lapse with my training, doing only 5 laps of the field a couple of times. I worked out if I walked the 2 1/2 miles from my home in Penryn to the field near Mabe, I would have to do 76 laps of the field to complete the 26.2 mile marathon distance.
It was only a week from thinking about it to the day I actually did the marathon on Saturday 2nd May. I set off at 8.00am raring to go on the first part of the walk to the field. I alternated the laps of the field so as to try and take out some of the monotony! Anna joined me to hand me water bottles and food. During the walk I had three 5 minute breaks. I knew if I stopped any longer, I probably wouldn’t be able to get going again. It took just over 8 hours to complete.
I walked a total of 27.5 miles!
The worst part was after about 45 laps. I was using the Strava App to record the walk, but to my dismay I noticed it had failed to record 5 of the laps! This meant I had to walk an extra 5 laps to record the full distance. Instead of 76 laps I had to do 81. It means I walked a total of 27.5 miles!
My sons and several of my cycle club turned up to give their support, some even walked a couple of laps with me, social distancing of course!
The best part was finishing. I nearly quit around the halfway point, but I told my supporters if I failed this time, I would have another go. To be honest I couldn’t see myself doing it again so the lesser of two evils was to carry on and finish it.
It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done but the support and sponsorship I had made it all worthwhile. I can’t thank my family, friends, cycle club members and the volunteer army we have at the two shops in Penryn enough. I had at least 70 sponsors and together we raised over £1,700 plus £300 gift aid, which I’m absolutely over the moon about. I set a target of £200, but it just seemed to gather momentum.
The first couple of days after the marathon my body felt like rigor mortise had set in! About a week later I managed to get back on my bike and loosen up a bit. Although my ankle didn’t bother me on the walk, let’s just say it’s letting me know it’s not overly happy about what I put it through!