Round Two: The 2018 London Marathon

The 2018 London Marathon was literally the hardest thing I have ever done, ever. It was, almost from the get go, unrelentingly, leg-shatteringly, teeth-grindingly difficult. The warmest race I have ever run, literally the hottest London Marathon on record. A horrendous experience, almost from start to the eventual finish. So why have I entered the ballot for 2019?

Because, as with last year, it was one of the best experiences of my entire life.

Realising an ambition: The 2017 London Marathon

I thought I was prepared for quite how big an occasion this would be, but nothing quite prepared for what turned out to be the most brilliantly horrific three-and-nearly-half hours of my life; my favourite ever race.

I’ve waited over half my life to be part of the London Marathon and it was absolutely one hundred percent worth the wait.

Final destination

I sit here writing this, winding down the training for one last marathon, the final taper period for the one I thought would always get away from me. I’m nearly there. A week today, I’ll be there. Lining up with 35,000 others in a world major marathon for the first time in my life, an ambition about to be realised.

Over a million people have crossed that finish line on The Mall since the first race in 1981, and all being well by around 2pm next Sunday I will be one of them.

Marathon training tips #1: planning and preparation

As I sit here midway through marathon training for my fourth and probably final push at the 26.2 mile distance, I thought now might be a good time to share a few bits and bobs that I’ve learned over the past five or six years since my first effort.

I can’t promise everything I tell you here is the absolute best way to go about things, but I can certainly let you know what has and hasn’t worked for me in the past. I’ve made plenty of mistakes along the way but then finally last April I would say I ran probably the best marathon I’m ever likely to run, using all the benefit of what I’d learned over the years. Hopefully, what I know now will be of some use to you too.

Twelve months on

Anyone who has read this blog over the years will be aware of my annual struggle to get into London, dropping my ballot entry in every April and then inevitably getting the dreaded SORRY! magazine in the post six months later, dashing my hopes and dreams for another year. But, finally, this year, I’m in. I’m there. They couldn’t stop me forever.

26.2 / 1000: The Greater Manchester Marathon 2016

Round #1 is now complete, the Greater Manchester Marathon is officially done and dusted. 26.2 out of 1000 miles for motor neurone disease are safely in the bag. We’re finally underway people, and we’ve hit our original fundraising total already with 973.8 miles still go. You are all ridiculously amazing, aren’t you?

Marathon eve

For the third time in my life, here I am the day before it all becomes A Bit Real. D-Day. Endgame. The day of reckoning, just some of the phrases I have used in the past to describe the culmination of months of hard work as the practice finally becomes the reality. All those hours spent trundling round and round on my little feet are about to come in really quite handy as come 9am tomorrow morning I will be lining up on the Old Trafford startline with a simple goal: run the Greater Manchester Marathon.

That’s logistics

I remember writing back in January that I knew that even though that was the week that broke me I would have bigger weeks to come. This week was that bigger week. The biggest, in fact. Ever. The most I have ever and probably will ever run in a seven day period, the equivalent of running round the M60 twice. 70 miles, over seven runs, with an 18 mile practice marathon pace effort right at the very end. The trouble with that though, is the actual logistics of fitting it all in.

1000 miles for Motor Neurone Disease

Why we are all doing what it is that we are all doing The picture above is of two of my favourite men. I’ve known Jonny since 2003. We met at university, lived together after university and have spent several years after university sitting around talking absolute drivel to each other. I’ve known his Dad, Neil, almost…

The hardest week

As soon as I drew up the training plan for this year’s marathon, there were one or two chunks that looked horribly daunting written down with the figures for the week staring me in the face. The general cycle of hard week / easy (ish) week as per usual, but with one or two notable…