I’d firstly like to say a big thank you to all those who have kindly sponsored me to do this mad race, please if you would like to help me raise money for F.R.O.D.O.* then please visit my just giving site at justgiving.com/georgie-islip Thank you for all your support as it will keep me going through the tough stages of the race.

I can’t quite believe it myself but I finished the Pilgrims Challenge. (The race is 66 miles. 33 Saturday and 33 on Sunday. The race runs from Farnham to Merstham and back again on Sunday.)

The course was the North Downs Way and it was so muddy and hilly; my shoes will never be the same. I also convinced myself that I would come home on the Saturday night as I was missing everyone and the race was hard. James, my husband, insisted I stay to complete the event and I couldn’t come home because of all the people that are sponsoring me for the real race. I’m pleased I didn’t because the satisfaction of finishing on Sunday was brilliant. I ran Saturday with my pack on, which must have been about 5-7 kg. I ran with an energy drink, wine gums, gels, bars and raisins. All revolting! Don’t run with wine gums as you can’t chew them as you are walking up the hills and therefore you become breathless. However the food was vital to keep energy levels high.

The weekend just seems a blur, as I didn’t think about much at all; all I did was concentrate on putting one foot in front of the other and how close I was to the next check point. I did get lost a couple of times on Saturday so had to retrace my steps. On Sunday every step was closer to the car, and my quads hurt. However, I got through it by thinking child birth was more painful and my legs were just sore. In the last 4 miles I started to count to 100, although my counting wasn’t very good because I could only do 20 at a time and then make it up 100! I was definitely running in the ‘here and now’.

I ran Saturday in 6 hours 44 minutes and Sunday I was the first lady back in 6 hours and 5 minutes. I actually was the first lady in the over 40’s for the 66miles! But I think I was the only one!! Never mind it all helps! I was the third lady overall, which is more impressive and 25th out of 100.

I learnt during this weekend to run my own race and not to be drawn in to increasing your pace. It was rather distracting to have people pass me, but my plan was to run every 20 minutes and then walk for 5 minutes after about two hours of running. Also because the hills were so hilly, you had to walk up them to conserve energy and I found this really helped.

So since Sunday, I have been eating anything that moves! I’ve been rehydrating and eating as much high calorie food as I can to replace all the glycogen lost. I feel OK, but will not run until Saturday morning when I will do a gentle two hour run.

I feel really pleased as now all I need to do is another 80 odd miles and I have completed the Marathon des Sables…

I am raising money for F.R.O.D.O. which is a charity transforming the quality of life and providing hope for disabled children in developing countries. If you would like to sponsor me then please visit justgiving.com/Georgie-Islip Thank you for all you support.

Georgie runs her own training business, providing 1:2:1 training, run together sessions or will happily help you with your training and fitness goals. Visit www.run.uk.net for more information or call Georgie on 07736 070612.