GPS failure means Jodey’s London marathon is a whopping 49 miles
PUBLISHED: 06:34 14 October 2020 | UPDATED: 13:02 14 October 2020
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.
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.
“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.
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“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.”
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.
“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.
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