Miss Bailey (vickiweitz): this teacher runs

Twenty-six marathons in twenty-six days





Film about a journey up The Royal Mile in Edinburgh in August 2012. Go to





to watch


hpu (1)

During Edinburgh's Fringe Festival of 2013, I ran 26 marathons in 26 days.


26.2 miles a day for 26 days.


Each marathon/day was run entirely on The Royal Mile in Edinburgh.


So you could say I ran a one mile stretch of road 681.2 times.


The gradient of The Royal Mile also means that each day was equivalent to climbing Ben Nevis.


At the end of the 8th marathon I broke my foot.


I'd never done anything like this before in my life - I used to avoid PE at school by rubbing grass in my eyes to bring on hayfever, so this performance was all about fear and motivation: how do you keep getting up, keep trying to do something, if you have no idea whether or not you can even accomplish it, and if the mere thought of it terrifies you? What keeps you going? Just how do you 'dig deep'?


It was important that I was continually repeating myself (re-inventing myself), running up and down the same stretch of ground; it was important that The Royal Mile is a steep hill with sections of cobbles; it was important that I needed to weave through the crowd - putting them in a position where they were forced to negotiate and navigate with my performance. This was not supposed to be easy.


But I asked for help: sports scientists from The Human Performance Unit at Essex University oversaw my training and the performance itself and gave me nutritional, psychological and scientific support; Jez Allen (fitness coach) provided valuable advice and Edd Hobbs produced the performance, providing logistical and at times, much needed emotional support! I was also overwhelmed by the support I received from people, not just from those who came to watch, cheer and run with me on The Royal Mile, but from people all over! I had wondered if we were still capable of a 'Dunkirk spirit' in this day and age, and I found the answer to be an unresounding YES!


I blogged about my experiences and you can read about them (and other musings) here:






"I am a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it" (Thomas Jefferson)


Artist vickiweitz will attempt to shoot as many balls as possible, through a netball hoop within a set time frame (6, 12 or 24 hours). She has set herself the goal of scoring one goal per minute, but she is unsure if this is achievable or not (it might even be easy). However, vickiweitz does not have a good track record of playing netball at all, let alone scoring goals (her memory of netball at school is of being hit in the face by a ball, and recent attempts at netball have seen the rest of the team shouting at her to stop running past the lines. She wasn't allowed to shoot goals).


The audience can choose how to participate: they can watch/cheer/heckle; they can offer advice/coach/act as nutritionist/help keep tally; they can have a go; they can organise a team to try and beat the world record for most number of goals scored per hour (currently 437); they can offer a running commentary, take photos/videos/comment on social media; they can walk away.


Luck examines the transition between luck and skill; hard work and lucky flukes; it looks at the effects of fatigue, nutrition, hydration, environment, chance, support and mood on performance and ability. Does practice make perfect?


In a world where we frequently fail to take responsibility for our own actions and choices, preferring instead to blame others for our misfortune or modestly understate our achievement because we were 'lucky', this performance offers the space to encourage an active debate about luck. What effect does luck have on our daily lives? Is it just a way of hiding ourselves from the truth, from avoiding hard work or is it an easy way to deal with success/failure/uncertainty?


Perhaps it is an inherent and important part of  our lives and a way in which we can understand our place here: the only certainty is uncertainty.