Come into the garden Maud and run a marathon!

Maud Hodson of East London Runners

Maud Hodson of East London Runners - Credit: Archant

East London Runners athlete planning a different kind of long-distance run

Maud Hodson of East London Runners

Maud Hodson of East London Runners - Credit: Archant

They say marathon runners are a bomkers breed determined to push the barriers of endurance.

Some try multiple marathons, while East London Runner Maud Hodson has gone even further.

Maud Hodson's back garden

Maud Hodson's back garden - Credit: Archant

The intrepid long-distance specialist takes up the story.

“My plan was to run a different marathon each month for the whole year and I managed to achieve that in January, February and even March,” said the 47-year-old.

Maud Hodson of East London Runners

Maud Hodson of East London Runners - Credit: Archant

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“But the problem I have is that there are no marathons going ahead in April, May and maybe for many months into the future.”

So that was the end of that plan then. Well, actually no it isn’t, as Maud has come up with a cunning new plan to finish a marathon in April.

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“I wanted to do another marathon nd keep things going and so I came up with the idea of running one in the back garden!” she said.

“I am still allowed to go out for a run each day as my daily exercise, but I think running a four-hour marathon would have been pushing it a bit.”

Maybe, but logistically it might have been easier than what she is attempting in her back garden.

“It is a small garden - about 8.5 metres long, and quite narrow,” she explained.

“I’ve managed to refine that into a figure-of-eight lap of 19 metres, moving the garden chairs into the middle so I can run behind them, so now I will run 2,221 laps of the garden!”

So is this the craziest thing you have ever heard? Not to magical Maud.

“There was a guy in France who ran a marathon on his balcony and that was only seven metres long so there are some madder than me,” she laughed.

“I have run marathons in about four hours in the past, but I think this will be a personal worst for me.

“It is not about the physical aspect, it will be the mental side of things that will be the difficult bit. If I can do it in six hours that would be ok.

“I will have the family dog Steevie probably running with me part of the way to help me, so I just hope he doesn’t poop on the course!”

That and getting dizzy on such a small course will be her biggest worries, though she is proud that she will be running the race for two charities.

“I am raising money for NHS Charities Together for obvious reasons at the moment and also for Refuge which looks after those who have been victims of domestic abuse, which has spiked since the lockdown began.

“My husband Peter and boys Gregor 18 and Stuart 17 will be supporting me as well as the dog. They are all used to me by now!” continued Maud.

“I am planning to run it on Saturday, but if myself or anyone else in the family shows any signs of illness or the weather is awful, I can delay it.

“I have the rest of April to do it, so I will do it as soon as I can.”

If she manages it then that is this month sorted, but what about next month and the one after that?

“I’ve been thinking about that,” she said. “I could try the front garden, but that is even smaller than the back, or I could run up and down the stairs!”

And that is why they say marathon runners are bonkers. Bonkers and also a very special breed.

If you would like to donate to Maud’s charities, just go to and give generously to a worthy cause.

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