Run every day in December, or here in Scotland we call it Marcothon..
I’m not a huge fan of the run every day challenges – but only for me personally. I know I need to factor in some rest days, and refuse to become a ‘Strava Wanker’ (there’s a Facebook group and Twitter feed dedicated to laughing at people!). Being late for the train, walking the dog, chasing the three year old round the park (hypothetical, I don’t have a three year old, and certainly don’t chase other people’s children!) or running the bath as my “run” for the day in order to keep the streak going to complete the challenge, is not on!
However for many people, such challenges and run streaks are great things, and really help with motivation.
Changing the way we train can be really good for us. A change is as good as a rest they say (who are ‘they’? – a very opinionated bunch), and for most people, running every day, is a change.
There are exceptions to this. People like Tour of Clydeside colleague, and Kirkintilloch Olympian stalwart, Robert Rogerson who took his streak to 521 days before a bout of food poisoning intervened. Or in the indefatigable Stuart MacFarlane, who with a streak approaching 2300 days, has spent the year smashing PBs, both in terms of distance and course, short to ultra grabbing a shelf load of age category prizes along the way. No paragraph on run streaks would be complete without mention of Dr. Ron Hill.
The current run every day challenge everyone is talking about (AKA saying they are going ‘definitely do it this year’), is of course Marcothon. Marcothon is a simple concept, run 3 miles or 25 minutes a day for the whole of December. The simplicity doesn’t stop people posing a host of stupid questions each year, resulting in a list of ‘rules’. What’s wrong with some people? It’s not hard to understand. Run every day. For the month of December. The stupid questions would make a good blog in their own right (job for you DMC!)
A little history on Marcothon – in 2009 Scottish and GB ultra-runner Marco Consani challenged himself to run every day in November. In December his wife, Debbie (also a TeamGB ultra runner) took on the baton and ran every day dubbing it ‘Marcothon’; quickly she was joined by a group of other runners keen to accept the personal challenge.
In 2010, the challenge embraced Facebook and 500 runners took part from across the globe. Last year saw over 6000 runners take up the gaunlet and with growing media coverage each year, 2017 is sure to be bigger still.
The invite to this year’s event dropped into my virtual inbox from non-other than the founder Debbie herself – friends in high places!
Will I or won’t I?
Now I need to decide whether or not to click ‘Going’. At the top of this blog, I said these things weren’t for me, but I guess that is also part of the challenge. Pushing the boundaries of what I would normally do, what I might enjoy and what I expect of my body.
Many of my friends are posting, tweeting, gramming (is that the correct term?) etc about their intentions to complete the Marcothon this year. Some of them – a much smaller number – did it last year (and some, again an even smaller number have done multiple) and regale stories of “how good it makes you feel”, “Christmas Day isn’t a challenge as by day 25 it’s just part of the routine”, and “it’s a great springboard for the new year”, and other such soundbites.
I remember watching on Strava, local runner Rob Soutar complete the 2015 Marcothon with his interesting twist – each day the minimum mileage matched the date. The last few days of the month were epic!
My race calendar has nothing in it after Wooler Trail Marathon on 19th November – nothing. Not just for the rest of this year, but nothing at all. So maybe a month-long challenge will make it look less bleak.
And with Stuart MacFarlane saying to me, “Just thinking . . . . if I’m out there running with a catheter tube stuck up my willie, you’ve got NO excuse!!!! Get out there and run 🙂 🙂 :-)”, what else can i say!?
I’ll click ‘Interested’ and keep my options open!