I’m writing this just over two weeks before I take on the London Marathon for the second time.
In 2005, the world was a very different place. Tony Blair was Prime Minister, Crazy Frog and James Blunt both had number one singles, and I was still in my thirties and a good stone lighter than I am now. It was also the year that Paula Radcliffe ran the world’s 3rd fastest marathon, despite a toilet break, and still managed to beat me by more than two hours and twenty minutes.
After what I then described as a “hot, hard and exhilarating” experience, I didn’t run another marathon for ten years.
My first race with WRC (albeit not in a Club shirt, ‘cos we didn’t have them at the time), was running the third leg of the Marathon relay in Manchester. The crowds were shouting how fresh I looked at mile 14 (hardly surprising, as I’d completed no more than four hundred metres at the time), and it was on that day, that I resolved to have another go at the grand old event, and have since taken my completed marathon tally to nine.
In late October last year, whilst in Turkey, I was lost for words (ironic, as I playing Scrabble at the time – true story) when I received a call from Caroline, telling me that I was first out of the hat at the Club Ballot. I thought it was a wind up, until later that night, I saw a video clip on Facebook that confirmed what I had been told. To my embarrassment, I fist pumped the air several times, then mentally started to run the course with accompanying obligatory commentary from Steve Cram and Brendan Foster, with Chariots of Fire as a backdrop.
So, back to the here and now.
I’m not feeling too nervous, as I completed Manchester for the eighth time a few days ago, so know I have the wherewithal to complete the course.
I’m looking forward to it, both to wear Primrose and Blue down The Mall, represent the club, but also, to exorcise a few demons from 2005, my worst marathon time.
My first Marathon, Manchester 1998.
Action shot near the finish of Manchester 2001.
First Marathon Medal, alongside 2005 London Medal.