Day 4 – Embracing The Fear

Finish Time — 8:17:40
Average Pace — 18:59 per mile
Steps Taken — 69,460
Mantra of the Day — “Embrace your fear”

This morning I woke up to bad thoughts of not finishing today’s marathon, and worse, to thoughts of what would happen if I could not start. My left ankle was still swollen and inflamed, painful from the first step of the day. I didn’t feel much like walking down to the main house, let alone going out for another 26.2 miles around the lake.

Still, we are not here to give up so easily. At breakfast I chose my mantra of the day from Class 4’s card — “embrace your fear” — and lodged it firmly in my mind. Then I headed for Body Rehab where Maria, Tracy and Tamara did some amazing work to get me back on my feet. Against all expectations I took to the road at 8:30am, feeling that I might actually make it to the finish line.

The outward stretch to Newby Bridge was tough, but manageable. I walked the uphills and jogged the descents, trying to preserve my ankle and minimise any further damage — while also trying not to over-compensate which could cause problems elsewhere in the body. Above all I forced myself to think in terms of a 7-day strategy that would get me to Sunday’s finish line, not just today’s.

After making the turn at the foot of the lake, the ankle was starting to make its presence felt. Matt cruised past me, then Sally and Keith and the other front-runners of the main pack. It’s good to see your friends after 3 or more hours grinding it out on your own…

From mile 14 onwards the task became progressively more difficult. Although I was running certain stretches, my biggest goal was to avoid additional damage to the ankle. Not easy when you have to take thousands of steps on it to complete the course!

Aly and Mac and Andrea were incredibly supportive up this back stretch, as were the rest of my 10-in-10 friends who stopped and chatted as they came by. The weather turned nasty after Bowness, but having anticipated a long day with changeable weather, I was wearing full protective gear so managed to stay warm and dry.

After a long, long time I finally made it back to Brathay and was actually able to run most of the last two miles. With the help of the miracle workers at Body Rehab, I am hoping that I might actually begin to improve over the next few days and actually enjoy a couple of the remaining runs rather than having to endure them!

I had a lot of time today to think about why I am doing this event in the first place. So many young lives will be changed for the better by the funds we raise; and when you focus on this, it suddenly becomes easier to get through the tough moments. Then too I remembered the day’s mantra, and on more than a couple of occasions I literally put my arms out to embrace the shadows and doubts that were dragging me down, and said “No way you’re stopping me, you’re coming all the way back to Brathay with me”. Sounds weird, I know, but after a couple of bad days in an event like this, I think you get into place in your mind that is very intense and primal.

A special mention goes to Howard, who interrupts his pre-race routine to come and cheer me off at the early start (as well as scolding me to get to bed earlier!); and also to Foxy, who popped out of the bushes today at mile 24. He had finished his race, then came back to run the last couple of miles with me. True 10-in-10 spirit! His timing was perfect, I was beginning to flag even though the end was in sight. I hope that before the end of the week I will be able to repay the favour or pay it forward to someone else who needs the support.

To end on a positive note, I have now covered 104.8 miles so triple digits are in the bag, tomorrow marks the halfway point, and I still believe that I can finish this challenge!

Oh, a little challenge for Class 4 and anyone else who wants to play — see if you can guess why I have chosen today’s picture… If you think you know then leave your comment below!


  1. You are the iceberg (probably a “growler” too!) but you are not ‘all at sea’ by any stretch of the imagination. Like an iceberg, your real strength and power is unseen, deep below the surface. But it is there. And it is real. And heaven help anything which tries to get in your way. We believe in you, Rob.

  2. I think that what you mean by this photo is that this 10 in 10 challenge looks hard on the surface and underneath the top layer is a jagged rock making each day harder and harder.

    We all believe in you and know you will do well and achieve whatever you want to achieve! Following you every step of the way! GOOD LUCK!

  3. You feel like you have hit an iceberg but you won’t hit an iceberg – you can do it Rob, I and class 4 believe in you. Hope the body rehab make your ankle better!

  4. Hi Rob I think the photo you chose was because you are about to hit the wall, but we all know you can make it – think courage, be courageous because you CAN do it. We are all behind you pushing you on. Good luck, wishing you the best!!!

  5. Hello Rob,

    I think that you have put an iceberg as your picture because you have a huge, huge challenge ahead of you! Just imagine that we are running with you so you are never, ever alone! I wish you loads and loads of luck with your running.
    “Run strong, embrace power!”

  6. Because you are tough and icebergs are tough!

    Good luck to all of you runners out there for Brathay Trust. You are all doing great and I wish you all the best

    from Oliver

    P.S Rob I know you can do it – do it for Brathay Trust! GOOD LUCK!

  7. Hi Rob
    I have not a clue why you have chose that picture and I will keep thinking and get back as soon as I can.

    PS: I hope your ankle gets better

  8. Hi Rob
    I think you put the iceberg there because you are a little iceberg facing a big challange. This challange is massive but you can face it, you can do it! Good luck with the 10 in 10 and I am sure you can do it, just think that we are behind you and pushing when you’re struggling up those hills, I am sure the ninjas will sort you out. “YOU CAN DO IT!”

  9. Is it because the body rehab team (to you the ningers) get you in the ice cold bath and treat you so your body is fit for the next race.

    I am right behind you all the way so if you feel you can not do it I’ll be right
    behind you pushing you on – not literally but keeping you going. You can do it I know you can do it! We all do. Good luck and keep running or keep going.

  10. Hello Rob,I think the picture means “just the tip of the iceberg” which means you’ve done a little bit but still have loads more to do! I hope the ninjas of fury bring you back on top of your game. Good luck!!!

  11. is it because icebergs are strong ( like you ) and you feel like you hit an iceberg ? Come on you can do it. I and all of class 4 beliEve in you! You’re inspirational to me and all of class 4 so come on you can beat the 10 in 10 so GO GO GO.

  12. Hi Rob,
    I think your iceburg, that represents your blog, means the ice lollies at icecream mountain or it means that you’re tough and can break even the biggest of threats: the titanic, and fear!

  13. Hi Rob

    How did the marathon go? Top tip: when you are in agony think of somthing happy like your family and class 4 and how proud we all are of how far you have come. I belive that you will not hit the wall and no matter what happens you will always be an inspiration to me!

    From Tara

  14. I agree with Tara. You are doing extremely well and you know that we are all behind you, pushing you up those steep, steep hills.

    Hope your ankle isn’t to bad. Lots of luck to all the other runners aswell.


  15. Hi Rob!

    You can do it, no matter how much pain you’re facing just remember that everyone you know is behind you 100% and that we are all impossibly proud of you. I didn’t think that it was humanly possible to run 262 miles in such a short space of time!

    The other week someone asked me if anyone inspires me and I replied with: no one!

    But if they asked me now I would say: Rob Dallison – he is a complete nutter doing 10 marathon’s in 10 days but he is raising a crazy amount of money for charity. I could never do what he is doing!

    Well Done! I hope the £10 I donated helps you to reach your goal!

  16. We allowed Alex to go back, only so that she would be there for you when you make it home on Sunday!! I am sure you will make it all the way.
    Muchos cariños,

  17. Hi Rob
    I’ll go with the ones that think it has to do with icebergs hiding their real size, much as 10 by 10 does (you can’t imagine just how much you are taking on…)

  18. Are you simply saying it’s chilly up north? Or is it that you have spent too long in those ice baths and it’s all you can think of? Either way, I can’t tell you how amazing it is following your progress. Your courage and determination is an inspiration and make us mere mortals want to buck our ideas up. We’re all rooting for you and can’t wait to see that you’ve crossed the line on Sunday. Keep Going!

  19. I should pose this type of question more often, it was great fun reading all your creative replies!

    The reason I chose the picture of the iceberg is because it reminds me of how much is hidden from view. Until we are tested – really tested – we have no idea how immense our own resources are. Only in great adversity do we discover what we are truly capable of.

    But the consolation prize for this contest goes to Mrs Evans because she got me right, with “heaven help anything which tries to get in your way”!

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