Michael Dobson’s 100-mile challenge

When I wrote yesterday about the difference between how runners and cyclists handle “equipment failure” during a race, I immediately thought of Michael Dobson, who somehow managed to finish this year’s London Marathon despite suffering a calf muscle strain with 8 miles to go. It took him 25 minutes longer than he expected, but he still managed to finish in a respectable time of 3:45.

Michael in his playing days as captain of the professional British football team Walsall F.C.

It’s amazing Michael still runs at all, considering he had to give up a pro football career (that’d be soccer to us here in the States) because of bad knees. But he set out to do the London race as a cancer fundraiser in a tribute to his father, who died in 2007. And starting Sept. 11 — the five-year anniversary of his dad’s death — he began a new cancer fundraising challenge: Running 100 miles in 10 days.

Naturally I’m reminded of my own 90in9 project last October, but Michael’s is more impressive for at least a couple of reasons:

1. He’s doing it alone, whereas I ran with my sister, Traci.

2. He set a time limit of 1 hour and 20 minutes to complete each run, partly to ramp up the challenge and also to make it easier to fit this project into his busy schedule. (It took us around 2 hours to run the same distance.)

Today is the Day 9 of Michael’s challenge, and so far he’s triumphed over swollen knees and a debilitating migraine. If you want to get inspired to triumph over your next “equipment failure,” click here to read about Michael’s odyssey. Better yet, click here to donate to his Just Giving page; it’s kinda fun to make a donation in British pounds.

“Dobbo” hobbles across the finish line at the London Marathon.

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