#50at50, first nine …

I will be fifty later this year and have long decided to run my first marathon at 50 as much as anything as some kind of runners’ rite of passage. It recently occurred to me that I might continue the theme by running my first ultra in that year too … Spurred on by my numerological tendency the popular meme of compiling a “things to do before I’m 30/40/50/dead” list came to mind and it occurred to me that I might expand my idea to 50 events, of which the marathon and ultra marathon are but two, and thoroughly celebrate my year of my being 50. (As a procrastinator I’ve naturally left it too late to do this before I’m fifty. Though at least I’m not dead.)


It simply remains to populate my year of being 50 with 50 events. At the moment I have only the very beginnings of a framework; just nine events. I started out with the idea that all 50 would be taking part in official running events, with the relative informality of parkrun as a baseline, but I have decided to modify that number to 45. Each of those I intend to run as competitively as possible as I don’t want there to be any filler. I may not be running the Badwater 135 or the Marathon des Sables, but I’d like some to be atypical, unusual or even unique in my running experience to date. Though the marathon and ultra marathon meet that criteria for me I appreciate that even these and certainly most of the others will be commonplace to many other runners. The 5 non-running events will, of course, be volunteering at parkrun. I hope to diarise and enter as many of the formal running events in advance as possible and retain the flexibility of parkrun, as both runner and volunteer, to fill gaps in my diary and keep my event count going as I progress.

The nine events I have are:

  • first event – Dulwich parkrun on 3rd October 2015. My birthday is actually on 1st October and so, if I can find a suitable race, I may change this.
  • marathon – Brighton 2016
  • ultra marathon – a 50k naturally
  • five Saturdays volunteering at a parkrun
  • 50th and final event – Dulwich parkrun on 1 October 2016. You might reasonably rationalise that my year of being 50 actually ends on 30 September, but being born as I was at 9:28 I would counter that I don’t complete my year until that time on the day of my birth. So with the flexibility of 28 minutes to cover my 5k and any variability in start time I should complete #50at50 with time to spare …

I will update the #50at50 page (also accessible via About Me on the site menu) as further events come to mind and plans come together. With only the 9 events above on it at present it has an “under construction” look about it. Going with early web etiquette it should probably be adorned with low resolution animated gifs depicting road construction paraphernalia. The animation would essentially amount to flashing and being very annoying. But I decided against that. The page is there though.



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