Success is not final. Failure is not fatal.

Failure, it’s an interesting word, and often one that holds us all back if we are honest. I’m writing this post as I sit on the train from Manchester back to Euston about 4 and a half hours after I finished the Greater Manchester Marathon.

In December 2015 I set myself a very tough personal challenge of aiming to run a marathon in under 3 hours, which is averaging at around 6:50min/mile pace. Warren and I continue to state that we are not athletes but we do enjoy setting challenges to see how far the body and mind can go.

One of the key lessons that Warren and I have learnt over the past couple of years of taking on challenges is to enjoy the process of being the best you, and not to beat yourself up when things don’t go to plan, like today.

Training over the past 16 weeks went to plan, I followed it religiously and found myself getting faster and the body adjusting in terms of the increase in pace and recovery time/approach. Did I feel confident of achieving? If I’m being honest I was, but I’m also not naive enough to ignore the fact that events like today are also about how you feel on the day and the conditions etc. Thankfully I felt great when I woke up this morning and the weather could not have been better, a crisp clear blue sky and hardly any wind.

The race went really well in the early stages, sitting in with the 3 hour pace runner with a group of around 50 other runners, the pace was very consistent, between 6:41 and 6:51 min/mile pace, I even managed to chat to a few other runners about the joy of running on a flat course compared to Guernsey (I’m not sure they were happy to talk).

I found myself still chuckling at a certain MarathonManUK who said he was going to jog and go for a 3:30 time and use it as a training run. As the elite runners came back up the road to was mile 1 and were just going through the turn, there was Robert Young, leading the race, bloody brilliant that guy.

I went through the halfway point bang on 1:30hr, Louise was waiting there to cheer me on, I managed to see her and pointed to my head and smiled. This was meant to indicate that I felt I had it in my mind and it was about the body coming along with me.

The next few miles flew by and the support was brilliant, I made sure to high-five the young kids that had come out to support us runners, it was great fun and it also helped ignore the pain that the body was quietly trying to tell me about.

Mile 20 – right, just a 10km race to go I thought, the wheels were still on and the body was aligning to the mind telling it that sub 3 hour was on. Up to around mile 20 we had been in a big pack of 50 or so runners, suddenly it thinned out and I found myself with only a few runners around me, it was interesting how the pack thinned out.

Mile 22 it started to get interesting, I ran past a few runners that were now walking due to cramp and the body starting to get the better of the mind and question the ability to stick to the 6:50 min/mile pace.

The body couldn’t stick at that pace, I needed to back off slightly. This was an interesting process. I had to dig deep and pull on all the experience and dark times of the 7 marathons in 7 days and the EPIC48 challenge.

I need to thank a few strangers in the crowds, the shouts of “this is where the hard miles count” and “you haven’t run 23 miles to give up now” really helped. They may sound like cliches but when you have someone you don’t know give up their Sunday morning to cheer you in it really does help.

Encouragement is vital, we all need more of it and we all need to give more of it.

There was a great moment at 24 miles, a poor guy in front of me stopped with cramp, a supporter tried to encourage him by shouting “don’t stop now mate, run through the pain” far easier said than done, but it helped me, it gave me a boost to just keep going.

I knew the sub 3 hour was out of reach but wanted to get a sub 3:05 now, the last mile or so were great, making sure to get eye contact with the amazing supporters on the roads, giving them a thumbs up and thanking them for coming out to support the runners.

The finishing straight was something else, packed with a few thousand people cheering, a real moment to savour and enjoy, I must be honest I was milking it for at least 400mtrs, thumbs up, arms raised, fist pumps, anyone would have thought that I’d won the race. Another lesson that Warren and I had learnt is to run happy, we got this from Rob Young.

Whatever the experience, a good run, a bad run, a brutal run, enjoy it and enjoy the moment.

I crossed the line in 3:03:37. 3 mins 37 secs off my target time but 27 minutes taken off my marathon personal best.

Failure. I’d like to challenge that on behalf of anyone that has ever set a goal and fallen a little short. It’s a big step setting a challenge beyond where you have been before, it’s another huge step going for it, and coming up short is neither here nor there. It is about enjoying the process of being the best you.

We often say that what you learn through the process of being the best you often has more impact than hitting the end goal.

Failure, or rather the fear of failure, holds us all back from time to time. I’m starting to learn that it is not about success or failure, it really is down to pushing yourself further than you have been before and overcoming the dark moments.

We all have it in us to go further than we have gone before.

We all have it in us to be the best version of us.

We all have it in us to overcome the moments of doubt and pain.

Never give up.

Why the hell am I running for 48 hours?

Good question, after running seven marathons in seven days last year I hadn’t really planned for there to be something else. Something that week moved me though (more than my feet).

The simplest answer to the question is to raise money and awareness for our chosen charities. Something clicked with me a year or so ago, I feel driven to do something positive and this is my small way of doing that. I want to leave some sort of positive footprint by helping others who may then go on to help people themselves, creating some sort of momentum. I don’t want to wait till I have a terminal illness or some tragedy before I start doing something to help others. At the moment I have my health and my brain so I plan to make the most of them with my limited resources.

Through the process of training and leading up to the 7 in 7 it became clearer than ever that this wasn’t at all about running, in fact running was secondary to the fact that every step is helping someone, changing a life. That can be difficult to understand but it’s true. Last year the money and awareness raised meant we changed the lives of thousands of people in Guernsey and Africa; that’s a humbling thought, but it also shows the power of taking on a hard challenge with a clear purpose.

So when the dust settled Philip and I asked ourselves what we could do that felt impossible. We considered running for 24 hours, but we felt that we knew we could achieve this with a decent level of training, hard as it would be! Then we both came to the same conclusion: 48 hours!! This made us feel a bit sick (and still does). It’s a challenge neither of us felt we could do! It’s a challenge with a high chance of failure!

We really are scared by this challenge (well I am), but we also want to show that the human spirit is so much stronger than we think. Having set the challenge we committed to the training months ago (we never really stopped after last year) and in the months to come this is going to become considerably harder with many hours dedicated to it each day, along with running our businesses and being loving, hands-on (and not tired or grumpy) parents and husbands.

So the reason I am doing something so stupid, that scares me to my core, is to raise money – a lot of money – that will achieve the following:

  1. Through the Sunflower Project support children and families who have experienced bereavement or are living with someone they love having a serious illness.  The project has supported over 100 families since launching last year and the support has been invaluable.

  2. Help people who are some of the poorest in the world in Africa through Village Savings and loans projects run by This is EPIC. The aim is to impact over 7,000 people through implementing new Village Savings and Loans groups.

  3. Fund many projects (run by the NSPCC), which aim to either prevent abuses happening or to help those who have already been abused.

  4. Help children with serious and life-limiting illnesses to have a special wish realised for them. It may be to go to their favourite football club to meet the players, or to fly off to Disneyland to meet Mickey Mouse and swim with dolphins. Whatever, it is a special treat that lights up one young person’s difficult life, at least for one day.

If you would like to support us here are a couple of really simple ways of doing it.

1.Donate. 

Donate with JustGiving

2. Like.

3. Follow.

4. Cheer, Toot, Wave (when you see us training in our orange tops)

We’ll be sharing more about our training and the event in coming days, weeks and months. Thank you so much for taking the time to read about our challenge.

Running is our vehicle, Purpose and Impact is our fuel

Today we launched our next challenge. This one takes Warren and I into the unknown and will push our bodies and minds well beyond where we think they can go.

On September 4th, 5th and 6th, in Market Square Guernsey, Warren Mauger and I will be running for 48 hours on a treadmill with one core aim.

To change as many lives for the better as we possibly can. 

We are very excited to be joined by Robert Young, aka MarathonManUK, and Adam Holland. We first heard of Robert Young when we were training for our 7 Marathons in 7 Days in 2014. His story of what drives him is one that every person needs to read, and we had the pleasure of meeting him at the Guernsey Marathon, which was marathon no.7 for Warren and I. Adam is in the same mould, driven by having a positive impact on people and using crazy challenges as the vehicle for doing it.

Many people have asked us the same question when we have mentioned our challenge “so how long does person run for?” assuming that we take it in turns on the treadmill. No. It is 48 hours on the treadmill for each of us. Alongside using the challenge to raise as much money as possible for some amazing charities we are also aiming to break a world record. The current world record for the furthest distance run on a treadmill in 48 hours is 251.79 miles. We are going to attempt to break the 48 hour world record.

But the important thing here isn’t the world record. At the core of this challenge is the desire to change as many lives as possible. During our 7 Marathons in 7 Days challenge in 2014 Warren and I swiftly realised that it wan’t about the running. The running was merely a vehicle to create a positive impact.

Last year we set ourselves a big target of £20,000, many people told us it was too big and we’d never reach it. But, thanks to the amazing Guernsey community we surpassed the target by a a few hundred pounds and the money went to helping people overcome poverty in Africa and supporting the amazing young people we have in Guernsey. This year, we have set an even bigger target, £100,000. Yes, we know it is a big number, but we are passionate about changing as many lives as possible for the better. This year we are supporting the same two Guernsey based charities This Is EPIC and TheHUB, along with Robert’s chosen charities, the NSPCC and Dreams Come True. You can find out more about the charities from the links below.

This Is EPIC – Working to end poverty for individuals and communities in a sustainable way.

The HUB – Providing a safe place for young people in Guernsey to get advice & support.

NSPCC – Helping children who’ve been abused to rebuild their lives.

Dreams Come True – On a mission to bring joy to seriously ill children and young people.

If you would like to support us here are a couple of really simple ways of doing it.

1.Donate. 

Donate with JustGiving

2. Like.

3. Follow.

4. Cheer, Toot, Wave (when you see us training in our orange tops)

We’ll be sharing more about our training and the event in coming days and weeks. Thank you so much for taking the time to read about our challenge, I’ll leave you with a little something from Robert Young, MarathonManUK.

“Thoughts on life;

do something you love,

do something that betters you as a person,

and do something that betters the lives of others.”

Get in touch with us!