A London marathon runner announced that she ran nearly 50 miles during this year's virtual event due to poor GPS signal.
Jodey Hopcroft, 38, used the Virgin Money London Marathon app to monitor her progress as she covered a 42 km route near her home in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk.
The five-time marathon runner, who ran this year amid uncertainty about the coronavirus-related event, started in the rain on October 4 at 4.45am and expected to be back in time for lunch.
However, due to poor GPS reception on her cell phone near her home on the north Norfolk coast, the app only worked intermittently.
She walked the route for more than 15 hours before the app finally registered that she had finished the marathon at 7 p.m.
When she returned home, she studied a map and burst into "hysterical laughter" when she realized she had run 49 miles – 22.8 miles longer than the course distance.
Jodey Hopcroft, 38, of Great Yarmouth on the Norfolk coast, ran from 4.45am to 7.00pm after her phone lost its GPS signal during the virtual London marathon
The five-time marathon runner started in the rain at 4:45 a.m. on October 4th and expected to be back in time for lunch
Ms. Hopcroft found that the app was not working properly within minutes of launching when she failed to register her half a mile drive at the Waxham Sands holiday park where she works.
She later checked in using the app and expected to have done about 20 miles, but she only counted 13 miles.
The determined marathon runner continued in the wind and rain because she could only qualify for a digital certificate and medal if the app recorded the full 26.2 miles.
Ms. Hopcroft ends her virtual race in the dark after running 49 miles instead of 26.2 miles because the event's official app for tracking her progress on the part of the north Norfolk coast where she lives did not work properly
She carried on because she didn't want to disappoint her sponsors, who donated more than £ 2,100 to the multiple sclerosis charity MS-UK in exchange for finishing the race
She also didn't want to let her sponsors down, who in return for finishing the race donated more than £ 2,100 to the multiple sclerosis charity MS-UK.
Ms. Hopcroft said, “When I started I couldn't stop. Everything would have been void and I would not have been registered as finishing.
& # 39; I had to keep going until the app registered. I had done 26.2 miles.
“I thought it would be okay if I drove, but the GPS is pretty bad here, especially when there is fog and rain, so I should have realized there might be problems.
& # 39; It wasn't the app's fault that it only registers once in a while. The problem is I did it with garbage GPS in an area of the Norfolk coast.
"The app recommended using a secondary device, but I only downloaded it a few days earlier and didn't have anything else to take with me, so I was a little naive."
Many miles, blisters and tears later that evening around 7 p.m. the app finally covered the official marathon distance of 26.2 miles.
Later when she checked her route on a map and found that she had walked about 49 miles and said she broke into hysterical laughter.
She ran nearly 50 miles due to an issue with the official Virgin Money London Marathon app that she downloaded to track her performance
Ms. Hopcroft realized that the app was not tracking her distance properly, but kept on making the app record an official race result of 26.2 miles for her. This was Jodey's fifth London Marathon (pictured left and right in previous years)
During the long and painful stretch, she had made several laps of her family campsite and the coastal towns and villages of Martham, Hemsby, Somerton, Sea Palling and Hickling.
Ms. Hopcroft admitted that she was willing to throw in the towel in some places as she was "in agony" with blisters on her feet but was cheered on by family and friends on her route.
She said, “It's just so funny that I've gone this far. I never thought it would happen.
"The rain and the cold and the bubbles were amazing, but it's a huge achievement."
A spokesperson for the Virgin Money London Marathon said: “We congratulate Ms. Hopcroft on completing the 2020 Virgin Money London Virtual Marathon.
Afterwards, when she checked her route on a map, she found that she had walked about 49 miles and said that she burst into hysterical laughter
“As we couldn't hold the event in London this year as usual, we invited participants to run the London Marathon – Your Way from anywhere in the world.
“More than 38,000 people took the challenge from Australia to California, but we doubt there were many who went as far as Jodey – she did it her way.
“We instructed all runners to take a secondary device with them as a backup to record their time and warned them that there may be areas of their chosen route where GPS will not work.
"We applaud Jodeys strength, perseverance and good humor and hope that she has raised a lot of money for MS-UK."
It was the fifth time in a row that Ms. Hopcroft has run the London Marathon and it is her goal to complete seven or eight marathons in a row.
Last year she ran it in London in about five and a half hours, but this year she decided to run the full distance as she hadn't trained properly for fear the event might not take place.
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