It was a dull, and typically grey Sunday morning in May when I found myself wandering the streets of London, I can't even be sure where I was, after a late night out and so nursing a bit of a tired, sore head. This was a long, long time ago as you can imagine when I only had myself to think about, but what happened next, i guess changed my life forever.
Suddenly I found myself upon a crowd of people and was at once a spectator in one of the most inspiring occasions I had ever seen. I was witnessing dozens of people willing their contorted bodies towards a distant finish line when I realised I was watching the London Marathon. I knew little of marathons in those days, but after playing many years of footy, would still regularly run for fitness. Having said that, I was living in West Yorkshire so the Northern English weather wasn't so accommodating.
Nevertheless what I stumbled upon that day almost moved me to tears as these runners, clearly suffering pushed their bodies of all shapes and forms toward the finish. In hindsight I figure I must have been at about the 40 km mark and I'd imagine 4 hours in as these runners were not leading any field today. Regardless, the sheer emotion, will, spirit and desire in these people convinced me enough to know that I must experience this one day. Run the marathon and find out what it is all about, and hope to hell that I don't finish like that!
This thought stayed forever with me, as I repeatedly told this story and listened to many others' first hand accounts. Not for some time mind you did i get around to it, nearly 15 years on I think it was, but the seed was planted there and then after witnessing this great display of human courage and effort. And having done the same I have an even greater appreciation for what each of those runners was going through.
The marathon is a life changing event, that leaves you with a feeling that you can achieve anything once you have run a marathon.
So I dare you, change your life, run a marathon.
But please do it properly. Your marathon experience does not have to include the misery that some endure, for the hardest marathon you will ever run is the one you don't prepare for.
If you've been thinking about running the marathon but you are not sure if you're ready, then you might want to read about being prepared for the marathon. If you are ready to run the marathon, and looking for a personalised program to ensure you are well prepared and ready to reach your goal, then here is a few options to consider.
Look out later this week for my next blog; The 5 biggest mistakes made by Marathoners!
Train smart. Run well. Race better.