Escape from Meriden – A 90 Mile Run

Imagine a race with a start line, but no finish line. You simply had to run as far as possible, measured as the crow flies, away from the start in Meriden. GPS tracking is keeping an eye on how you are doing, all you have to do to win is to complete a certain distance in a certain time. Now imagine that that distance is 90 miles, that you will be running for 24 hours, and that you will be doing this in winter. This clearly has to be the stupidest running challenge I have found. So guess what I did, yes, I signed up for it.

a 105+ mile target (or 90 miles as the crow flies), in 24 hours, on my own.


It looked exciting – check out their website and FAQ –

If you read that I had the option of either running alone, or chained to someone else. I’m not sure which is stupider, but I certainly couldn’t find anyone stupid enough to be chained to me for over a day, so I am running it alone.


November 17th-18th 2017


First of all I am ran the Cambridge Boundary Run as a training marathon. From there I went for another long 30-mile run on the March March March before repeating May’s Apocalypse 50 ultramarathon. I added some distance and time underfoot over the summer with a 75 mile Pen Llyn Ultra, recovering form that by hiking the Cape Wrath Trail and then dressing up in fancy dress for another 44 mile ultra in the form of the Grand Tour of Skiddaw. Those were some big-ass training runs, but this race is going to be a very different beast from what I have done before.

I have an excellent support team behind me for this race, between us we have mapped out a route from Meriden (between Birmingham and Coventry) through Rugby, Wellingborough, St Neots, Cambridge and onto the 90 miles as the crow flies mark at Newmarket. Ever the optimist I even extended the route out to Bury St Edmunds – although realistically I have no chance of getting that far. The last two races have seen only 5% of starters reach that 90 mile mark. I’m an idiot who thought it would be a laugh up against a very serious challenge – 24 hours to do four marathons back to back on a bleak November Saturday.

I won’t encounter any other runners for most of the race, each runner has designed their own route for the race. I won’t really know how I am doing compared to the others for most of the race. What I do have are people who are going to be driving around and occasionally cycling next to me to help me through the challenge. If I survive this it will be down to Patrick (again!), Bart, Grant, John and Jase who have talked me through so many aspects of the race, helped me design and recce the route and will be doing everything from handing me food and drink as I run through to making sure I don’t get lost, don’t get hit by a car or don’t fall 5ft down an uncovered manhole. They’ll be my first aid in an emergency, my moral support and hopefully prevent me from taking too many wrong turns along the way.

Physically I am as fit and strong as I have been at any point since I hit 30. I have a couple of minor niggles (left knee and left ankle), that will hopefully have cleared up by the time race day comes around. Regardless, this is such an easy race to fail. All it would take is one moment of stupidity at 4am where I stop paying attention and twist my ankle by the side of the road, for me to stop for a rest a couple of times too often, for me run a mile down a wrong turn. If it’s cold then hypothermia is a risk, if it rains then blisters and trench foot become a worry. If I don’t eat enough then my body will crap out and I’ll slow down too much to finish in time. If I eat too much then I’ll be losing time due to a horrible upset stomach. This race can be lost by the finest of margins – but Prior Preparation Prevents Piss Poor Performance, so I’m going in with as much under my control as possible. I have no intention of adding another item to my CV of failures.

You will be able to track my progress on the day at:

I shall try and write a race report afterwards, but if I succeed in just moving forward for the full 24 hours then I’m not sure how much of it I will remember afterwards.

As always you can sponsor me at:

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