Linda signed up to run the 2020 London Marathon as her children said she must! She had already run 19 marathons and her kids said she should run the 20th marathon on her 60th birthday. So that was the original plan.

She signed up back in 2019 however, with the global pandemic putting a stop to all in-person events she decided to run the marathon on the April date by herself. Virgin Money London Marathon then  decided to run their own virtual marathon in October and she ran on that day too! Can you believe Linda actually ran two marathons for us? We are in awe!

Here’s what Linda had to say about her first ever virtual marathon experiences:

“Training over the summer is much easier than training over the winter so, the October date was in principal an advantage. Although, it rained the whole night before and for the whole of the 26.2 miles, which was awful as I was running the Wey Navigation and it was flooded. So, I waded through puddles up to my ankles. The moral of this story is to plan your route to allow for all weather conditions.


The virtual marathon was exceptionally hard because I really really missed the crowd support and although I passed a few other runners on route and we cheered each other on, it is a lonely journey. My last mile was on the A281 south of Guildford and this was fantastic as the cars passing where hooting and cheering at me, it gave me a well needed boost.


There were big advantages of the virtual marathon, some of them being:

  • Not having to travel to London.
  • You can start at a time that suits your body clock.
  • Starting from home was such a luxury.


The lessons I learnt from the virtual run were:

  • Plan your route based on all weather conditions.
  • Wear something extra noticeable as all and every tiny bit of support and cheering on was really needed.
  • Plan your water and food stops – my husband met me at 8, 12, 18 and 22 miles with fluid and food (bananas and power bars).
  • Just knowing someone is waiting in a few miles keeps the spirits going and helped motivate me and kept the focus on the shorter distance between stops.
  • Have a a running partner. My daughter ran the last 10 miles with me which was an incredible support. So if you have a friend that can run or cycle next to you, for all or some of the way, that would be a real bonus!
  • The Virgin Money app was great and kept you fully informed of your progress, with motivational words especially in the last few miles, and an enormous cheer at the finish.


Finally, a few weeks later I jumped for joy when a realised I had got into the Guinness book of records (the largest ever virtual race) a first for me!


To sign up for one of our vitrual marathon places, click here now.