Edinburgh mother of three runs marathon in her driveway

Gayle Hoy ran 655 laps of her driveway to complete the marathonGayle Hoy ran 655 laps of her driveway to complete the marathon
Gayle Hoy ran 655 laps of her driveway to complete the marathon | JPIMedia
655 laps raise £2k for charity

MOTHER-OF-THREE Gayle Hoy was determined to run the marathon she had been training for despite the lockdown - so she completed a 26.2 mile course by running round the driveway of her Kirkliston home - 655 times.

And in the process she raised around £2,000 for Muscular Dystrophy UK, a charity she has supported since a friend’s seven-year-old son was diagnosed with the condition a few years ago.

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Gayle, 43, took up running shortly before her 40th birthday and has completed several previous marathons.

She was due to run the Manchester marathon last Sunday as part of a special challenge she set herself to run three marathons in seven weeks.

“I started training back in October. By the time coronavirus got quite serious over here, I knew in my head all these races were going to be cancelled and I thought I have done all this training - and by that point I’d already raised about £4,000 through a bake-off coffee morning and a raffle and things - so I could just run these locally.”

First she thought she could find a 26.2 mile route in the area near Kirkliston, but as the Stay at Home advice kicked in she decided it would have to be closer to home.

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“I was thinking I could run in my driveway and my garden, so I tried it one Sunday afternoon. I ran a 5k between the garden and the driveway and every time I went into the garden the kids were firing their nerf guns at me and there were far too many trip hazards and there was the whirligig and the kids’ playhouse, so I thought no, this is far too dangerous. I decided I’d have to stick to the drive.”

The rest of the family all played their part.

Son Finlay, 12, was race director, plotting the route and measuring out the distance. Elder daughter Lara, nine, worked out the best camera angles for filming the effort on Facebook Live. Younger daughter Emilia, five, chalked rainbows on the drive and made posters.

And husband Euan had to count the laps.

“It was a great day and there was a real community buzz,” said Gayle. “People who were out for their daily exercise walked past and said ‘well done, keep going. My neighbours had made banners and were hanging out the windows cheering me on.

“I really enjoyed it - I was struggling towards the end and kept saying to my husband ‘How many laps to go?’ and he said ‘Just keep running’.”

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She completed it in 6 hours 44 minutes - the slowest race she has ever run.

“There wasn’t enough distance to be able to get any pace and the turns slowed down what pace I could get, but at least when I finished I wasn’t out of breath - just keen to sit down.”

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