It all started quite innocently a couple of years ago, a bit of running to slow down the dreaded middle age spread. I was quite pleased with my progress by the summer and when a friend of mine suggested the Birmingham half marathon I thought why not. That’s how they hook you in, they start you small and always, always they talk the marathon up, making it sound appealing and relying on your competitive and aspirational nature to do the rest. Next thing I’m trying to get into London but with only 7% chance in the public ballot it’s not as easy as you think. Cue my running mate again, he is set on running 10 different courses before he hits 50 and floats the idea of Barcelona. Entry is straightforward and before I know it I’m at the start line with more than a little nervous anticipation of the slog ahead thinking how did I ever get talked in this.
I won’t lie the first 2 hours flew by, really enjoying it in the early morning sunshine and on for a 4 hours 10 minute time. Seeing my happiness my pal gives me the good news and nonchalantly says “You probably want to kill me in the final stages I meant to tell you it’s a bit hilly this course”
It did indeed get a whole lot harder and less enjoyable but there was never a stage when I thought I would stop running and I eventually finished in 4.33.02 having slowed considerably on that lovely final 2 mile “gentle” climb up the Paral-lel from the seafront to the Placa Espanya finish.
So here’s what I learnt from the marathon
Anything is possible
It is possible to run past the Sagrada Familia without even noticing it
DNF means “do not falter” not “did not finish”
1% of world’s population have a run a marathon yet it is not an elite club, everyone is welcome
When your running you can’t hate anyone let alone want to kill them
You can’t get drunk post marathon – best beer legs you will ever have even if you may have the odd black nail
It’s addictive – I’m in the ballot for London 2017 which will hopefully be my third. Next stop Dublin…..
I raised £1001.88 for Birmingham Children’s Hospital in memory of Milly Hill/Armitage Thanks. Many, many thanks to all my sponsors