What a girl will do to get bling

Last year when I was 40, I had my 40 at 40 list to be completed in my 40th year. Whilst I was completing them, I got thinking about other challenges, skills and things I wanted to do. So a new fabulist was born, a list for life. The first thing I put on my list was to complete the Brathay Windermere marathon.

So the race was entered and the weeks of training commenced. I have blogged about my training in a previous blog. I was on track, feeling fit and strong but my head went when I set out on my long 22 mile training run. It is the worse feeling in the world. Head and body were not working together, my running confidence was shattered.

I just felt so let down by myself. What the hell had happened. The race date was looming and I was in a panic. A chat with my physio who reassured me not to stress and that I’d done most of the hard work already. New trainers purchased and that seemed to work it’s magic.

A few more long runs in the bag and confidence was back. It felt odd in my taper week only running twice and doing such small runs.

Luckily I had the Keswick mountain festival to distract my nervousness. I was running for Alice Escapes to raise funds for their new caravan. I wasn’t going to raise money but lots of people had asked if I was, so I did. Total at this time is £1150 so chuffed.

Race day…..
I was up early, excited, nervous and every other emotion was flowing through my body. I pulled on my Team Alice running vest and my purple tutu!! Breakfast eaten, kit packed and off to Brathay. At least with it being a local race, there was no sleeping in a strange bed or a long journey.



As we drove up, we passed all the mile markers from mile 22. Next time I would see these, I would be on the home straight. Brathay is such a beautiful sight. A follower from twitter came up and said hello. So nice to meet you Carolyn!! Then after about 2 years of tweeting and missing each other at 10k races, finally met Angela and Charles. They are so nice and talking to them eased my nerves. Dave left to cycle to meet our friend Si. Their plan was to see me in Hawkshead then cycle to Bowness.

It was nearly time, we were walked through the estate down to the start. Nerves again and needed a wee, wearing a tutu perseves ones dignity when squatting to take a pee! Tracking systems set off and the starting gun fired and we were off!



It was familiar running the first half of the race, as I had run it as part of a training run. I set of at a steady pace. I didn’t have a particular time I was chasing. I would be happy if I could finish in about 5 hours due to the hilly nature of the course.

It was so nice running through Hawkshead seeing lots of familiar faces. Legs feeling good and on track. A huge cheer from Dave, Si and Liz. Then the sun came out which sapped any energy I had. I remembered to run in the centre of the road to save my tendinitis in my ankle. Everything was feeling laboured in the heat. A slight panic when I couldn’t quench my thirst. Keep calm and run. Just before Newby Bridge I saw good friends Andrew and Fiona. Sweaty hugs, words of encouragement and an orange and I was off.

As I crossed the bridge, I heard my name screamed by some of my customers. I Was looking out for my physio Graham and his wife Di who said they’d be there but I couldn’t see them. As I went up the other side of the lake and just before Fell Foot, there they were!! Another sweaty hug! I was in pain, my ankle, my feet everything hurt. I said to Graham if I ever say I’m running a marathon again shoot me! Buoyed up off I went, the sun was beating down and every step was an effort. The course on this side of the lake was undulating to say the least. The words on the back of my team shirt “grit,courage,determination” were running through my head spurring me on.
The miles ticking by and soon I was at 18 miles. Familiar landmarks passing me by. Soon Bowness was in sight, as I headed up Fallbarrow road, I could see Dave and Si. I was so hungry, Kendal Mintcake devoured and a stretch out and was on my way. Though I did get told to mind that I didn’t knock over their beers!!!!

Rayrigg road seem to go on forever, but soon Cookhouse corner was in view and a much needed downhill. Mile 21 not far now. Lots of encouraging pips of horns, people shouting we love Team Alice nearly made me cry.
Mile 22…mile 23 inside I was thinking I’m going to do this and a smile broke across my face. When I got to the Low Wood the end was nearly in sight and I allowed myself to soak up the view and what a picturesque marathon it is.

Mile 25, still smiling. I passed my friend Steve who was annoyingly enjoying a cold beer at the Waterhead. With Dave and Si doing the same at Wateredge inn!

Just keep going….over the bridge and was nice to see my friend Issy who was marshalling. Not far to go. It was such an effort, the drag up the drive was painful but then a last sprint and I could see the finish. My stepson Dean and his girlfriend Aimee screaming my name. I crossed the line, I’d done it. Medal put on and the lady said you look amazing and don’t look as if you’ve just run a marathon. My body disagreeing with this. Then I saw Dave and just collapsed the relief, joy and achievement of completing that.



My official time was 5:03 which in the conditions, I am incredibly proud of.

Unfortunately that evening I had heatstroke. It is an awful thing. After a nights sleep and cold compresses I felt a little better in the morning.

I think my body may have just recovered. It’s been odd not running this week. I’m proof that you can do anything you put your mind to. I don’t look like the stereotypical runner but I can! So what’s going to be the next challenge……

This is my fabulist, if you have any suggestions please let me know
Windermere marathon
Bob graham round
Learn the harmonica
Kielder marathon
Learn to juggle
Learn to skim stones
Learn to wolf whistle
Go to a Driving range
Do a Skid pan day
Rally day
Sky dive
Drive a speedboat
Walk the Cumbrian way
Learn to salsa
Learn flamenco
Publish a book
Become a world record holder -apparently I need to get 2000 people on space hoppers
Demolish a building
Learn to throw a lasso
Free fall simulator
Go to a firing range
Mud wrestle
Bridge bungee jump
Walk the Welsh 300
Learn Spanish
Sumo suit wrestling
Dine at le manoir
Dine at Gidleigh park
Dine at hand and flowers
Hot air balloon
Drive a caterham
Learn to tap dance
Row on open water with Kirsty Reid
La tomatina Spain
Fire walking
Visit buck palace
Go to the races
Try a bottle of cristal
Heavy horses with Rachel
Amsterdam with Rachel
Go on a bucking broncho
Learn to Ice skate with Niamh and Erin
Roller disco + Lisa, Nicola + tequila lime and salt
Light my farts
Lindy dance with Cate
Learn to play poker
Visit Downton Abbey
Have a drink in the Shard
Get me oldies played on radio 2
Perfect the pout
Learn to apply eyeshadow so don’t look like a tranny! Job for Jan
Visit St bees
Go round Cumbria on the train
Do Carlisle to settle on the train
Be a can can girl
Go on a sedgway
Learn to ski with heather
Go on zip wire in Wales
Go on a bobsleigh with jake
Go out in London in style with cate
Learn to aerial trapeze
Pull a wheelie Dave A
Drive a real steam train with Tim
Conquer fear of water
Go to a casino
Go to the dogs
Learn a magic trick
Learn to shuffle cards
Glamour shots

When I’m Retired
C2c walk
Offas dyke walk
West Highland way


  1. DT says:

    Loved this blog! Go girl. Huge congrats on the marathon and all the best in completing the rest of your list! 🙂

  2. Billie says:

    Another great blog Gina, well done on your marathon, and good luck with your other ‘quests’ :0)x

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