Un­lucky marathon run­ner clocks up TWICE the dis­tance.. af­ter of­fi­cial race GPS app fails to record half the route

Daily Mirror - - THE DIARY - BY LOUIE SMITH louie.smith@mir­ror.co.uk @smith_louie

ONE run­ner found the vir­tual Lon­don Marathon a real slog af­ter an is­sue with her app made her cover 49 miles in­stead of 26.2.

Jodey Hopcroft started at 4.45am, ex­pect­ing to fin­ish the chal­lenge and get home for lunch. But poor GPS re­cep­tion on the Nor­folk coast meant the of­fi­cial app worked only in­ter­mit­tently – so Jodey ran for 15 hours be­fore her phone fi­nally reg­is­tered the race as com­plete.

The 38- year- old said: “Once I’d started, I couldn’t stop. Ev­ery­thing would have been void and I would not have been reg­is­tered as fin­ish­ing.

“I had to keep go­ing un­til the app reg­is­tered I had done 26.2 miles.

“I should have planned my route bet­ter, in ar­eas where there was de­cent re­cep­tion. Be­lieve me, there were a cou­ple of times I did have a bit of a cry, I was just in agony.

“The rain and cold and blis­ters were un­be­liev­able but it is a huge sense of achieve­ment.”

The Vir­gin Money Lon­don Marathon app was cre­ated to give 38,000 en­trants the chance to com­plete the race on their own routes on Oc­to­ber 4.

They were warned to take a sec­ondary de­vice to help record their run – but Jodey set off with just her phone.

The camp­site man­ager at Wax­ham Sands, Nor­folk, re­alised within min­utes

the GPS was not work­ing. But she wanted to qual­ify for a dig­i­tal cer­tifi­cate and medal – and was de­ter­mined not to let down her spon­sors, who had do­nated more than £2,000 to mul­ti­ple scle­ro­sis char­ity MS-UK.

Jodey got home ex­hausted at 7pm. Af­ter study­ing a map she re­alised she had ac­tu­ally trav­elled 49 miles.

She said: “I just had to carry on. The app in­cluded mes­sages of en­cour­age­ment from Paula Rad­cliffe and Steve Cram ev­ery mile. I re­alised I was do­ing a lot more than a mile be­tween many of the mes­sages but they helped spur me on.”

Vir­gin Money Lon­don Marathon said: “More than 38,000 com­pleted the chal­lenge but we doubt there were many that ran as far as Jodey – she cer­tainly did it her way.

“We did brief all run­ners to carry a sec­ondary de­vice as back- up and warned there may be ar­eas where GPS would not func­tion. We salute Jodey’s strength, stam­ina and good hu­mour and hope she raised plenty of money for MS-UK.”

Army Cadet na­tional am­bas­sadors Sally Orange and Jor­dan Wylie were part of a team that set a world record for the deep­est marathon af­ter com­plet­ing 26.2 miles in tun­nels 1,100m down at Boulby Mine, North Yorks.

LOG­GING SMILES Up­beat early on GLOOM Fin­ish­ing at night

DRIVEN Jodey ran to boost MS char­ity

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