Search

GPS failure means Jodey’s London marathon is a whopping 49 miles

PUBLISHED: 06:34 14 October 2020 | UPDATED: 13:02 14 October 2020

Jodey Hopcroft ahead of the virtual London marathon on Sunday October 4 when she was forced to cover almost 50 miles around Waxham Sands in order to register 26.2 on the official app Picture:  Jodey Hopcroft

Jodey Hopcroft ahead of the virtual London marathon on Sunday October 4 when she was forced to cover almost 50 miles around Waxham Sands in order to register 26.2 on the official app Picture: Jodey Hopcroft

Archant

When Jodey Hopcroft set out at 4.45am to tackle her 5th London marathon she expected to be back to wave off campsite regulars on the last day of the seaside season.

Her face pitched against the rain and cold Jodey Hopcroft ended up covering a gruelling 49 miles because her London marathon app couldn't track her race properly Picture: Jodey HopcroftHer face pitched against the rain and cold Jodey Hopcroft ended up covering a gruelling 49 miles because her London marathon app couldn't track her race properly Picture: Jodey Hopcroft

Instead she embarked on a 15-hour rain-soaked, blister-blighted torment - all thanks to a catastrophic GPS failure on the Norfolk coast.

The 38-year-old pulled on her running shoes at the family-run Waxham Sands holiday park fully reliant on the virtual Virgin Money London Marathon app to track her progress - and crucially to let her know when 26.2 miles was up.

Alarm bells rang when it failed to register her half-a-mile-long drive, but after a few laps of the large camp site and heading out onto the main road she found a fix.

Paying attention to where she was walking and checking in with the app it became clear it was only intermittently registering her distance, and when at what would have been around 20 miles it was only showing mile 13 she was briefly ready to throw in the towel.

Jodey Hopcroft admitted she had a few tears by the roadside when she ended up running nearly 50 miles instead of 26.2 during the virutal London marathon because of a poor GPS signal Picture: Jodey HopcroftJodey Hopcroft admitted she had a few tears by the roadside when she ended up running nearly 50 miles instead of 26.2 during the virutal London marathon because of a poor GPS signal Picture: Jodey Hopcroft

“Once I had started I could not stop, everything would have been void.

“I thought it would be fine, I did not have a secondary device so was a bit naive there, so I had to keep going until the app registered I had done 26.2.

“I was always planning to walk it because I had not done any training. I was walking in streams and started getting blisters.

You may also want to watch:

“Believe me there were a couple of times I did have a bit of a cry, I was just in agony.

“I thought I would be done between 12 and 2pm as I knew I would get stopped by people.

“I just had to carry on.

“It wasn’t really the app’s fault. I should have known round that area was rubbish for GPS. It was only registering every now and then.”

For Jodey Hopcroft this year's virtual London marathon was close to 50miles after a GPS fail. She is raising money for MS-UK via Just Giving Picture: Just GivingFor Jodey Hopcroft this year's virtual London marathon was close to 50miles after a GPS fail. She is raising money for MS-UK via Just Giving Picture: Just Giving

In the end, after more than 15 hours, she finally clocked the distance outside the camp shop at around 7pm.

Her route had taken in multiple laps of the site, Martham, Hemsby, Somerton, Sea Palling and Hickling - cheered on by family and friends sending motivational texts and videos.

It was only afterwards when she checked a map she realised she had actually walked “48 or 49 miles”, erupting into “hysterical laughter”.

“It is just so funny,” she added.

Waxham Sands Holiday Park on a sunny summer's day. When Jodey Hopcroft set out on her marathon run the conditions could not have been more different Pictures: BRITTANY WOODMANWaxham Sands Holiday Park on a sunny summer's day. When Jodey Hopcroft set out on her marathon run the conditions could not have been more different Pictures: BRITTANY WOODMAN

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

Miss Hopcroft was running for MS-UK. To sponsor her visit Just Giving and search Jodeylee Hopcroft.


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Eastern Daily Press. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the Eastern Daily Press