‘Driveway Marathon’ is the road ahead for a Kirkliston woman

Gayle Hoy, 42, was disappointed when she heard that all three of the marathons she had been training for since last November had been postponed, threatening the £10k she was determined to raise for MDUK.

With the reality of coronavirus causing her three children’s schools to close, the need to start home-schooling, her husband working from home and then lockdown, she realised she had to look for an alternative if she was to keep her 2020 marathon challenge dream alive.

Undeterred, she plans to do the first marathon in her drive. Starting at 10am this Saturday (4 April), Gayle will run up and down her rectangular driveway about 655 times. She thinks it will take between five and six hours to complete the 26.2 miles.

Although she hopes neighbours and friends will cheer her on from doorways and windows, she said she can manage without the adrenaline rush from crowds.

She said:

I regularly run on my own and I ran my first ultra-marathon last year where the crowd was very limited. So I am used to being able to keep going without the crowds and atmosphere.

Running has always been about time for me, and I have found great comfort in running over the last few weeks as uncertainty has grown. Now it’s great to have a plan for Saturday and something to look forward to – yes I’m actually looking forward to running up and down my driveway!

Gayle is running for Elliot’s Fighting Fund, an MDUK Family Fund. She hopes to raise £10k this year, with fundraising events, raffles and sponsorship raised through her runs. These funds will go towards supporting people with muscle-wasting conditions, and vital research into treatments and cures. Her driveway marathon will be streamed on Facebook Live (Gayle’s 3 Marathon Challenge).

She said:

My Mum and Dad and my brother and his family who live over in Fife will be watching me – as will my 93-year old granny who impressively is on Facebook and knows how to use it!

MDUK Regional Development Manager for Scotland, Dean Widd said:

It’s great to see Gayle not letting the current situation get in the way of completing the three-marathon challenge that she set out to complete throughout 2020. Juggling home schooling, working and social distancing when looking to complete a marathon is no easy feat. For Gayle to complete this challenge against all the odds is a great display of determination and support in helping raise valuable awareness and vital funds for MDUK and Elliot’s Fighting Fund.

She had planned to run the Manchester Marathon on 5 April, the London Marathon on 26 April and the Edinburgh Marathon on 24 May.

Gayle lives in Kirkliston with husband Euan, and Finlay (12), Lara (9) and Emilia (5). She is continuing to work part-time during the lockdown, so home -schooling three children is proving to be a huge challenge.

She said:

My husband is also now working from home full-time for the foreseeable future – so it’s a busy household. I have a new-found respect for all teachers out there!
Running is definitely helping me get through these challenging times and keeping me sane!

Having run the London Marathon in 2018, one in Loch Ness in 2018, and in Stirling in 2019, Gayle also ran a local trail marathon in the Pentlands in February 2019. That was part of her training for an ultra-marathon (31 miles), John Muir Way, in March 2019.

I also recently ran the Meadows Half Marathon in March 2020, where I ran nine loops around the meadows so I definitely feel this has helped prepare me mentally for this new driveway marathon challenge!

Support Gayle’s marathon challenge.

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