The marathon journey – part one

Back in the summer of 2011, I had a ‘moment’ when it became clear to me my lifestyle needed to change. The reason for that is irrelevant now, but one of the results of that change, was that I started running as a form a relaxation and exercise. It’s become a bit of a habit now. How many times I run every week, and how far does vary, but my desire has always been about running distance, rather than pace. I’ve always argued whether you chug along at a snails pace, or can do 100m in less than ten seconds, you’re just a runner. Over the years, I’ve steadily increased the amount of miles I can run. I can vividly recall the first time I ever ran a half marathon distance, it felt like an enormous achievement. Also the time I decided to run back home to Southport from Preston, just for the hell of it. But the biggest distance I’ve ever covered was just shy of sixteen miles. 

It got to the point that if challenged to nip out for a run, regardless of preparation, I could easily manage a 10k, or even half marathon without really struggling. Granted, not very fast, but the distance was no issue. In the back of my mind though there was a nagging thought that I really should push myself to complete the full marathon distance, but something always seemed to hold me back. I guess ultimately, it was the prospect of failure. A few (granted younger) friends and colleagues have already run marathons, but it always appeared to be just out of reach for me.

Last year I turned 60, and I thought to myself, the amount of time I’ll (hopefully) remain fit and healthy is likely decreasing, so if I’m to at least attempt it, now was the time. A good friend of mine ran the London Marathon last year, so I heard first hand what the event was like. It all sounded very appealing. My preferred style of running is on my own, I’ve never even tried a park run, I just like the solitude while plodding along, so the thought of running with sixty odd thousand others and millions watching wasn’t an ideal prospect. But what I realised was I needed a target. Something to aim for. To be pushed. So I applied to run the 2020 London Marathon, and much to my surprise I was accepted.

I’ll post more about my training subsequently, but as I’m sure you’re all aware, the London Marathon will not now be taking place in April due to COVID-19. I fully support that decision given the current circumstances. So, since I was already well into my training, I decided on Sunday the 22nd March to have a go at the distance, using a route around my home town. Given it was early, and most people I saw were practicing ‘social distancing’ I did manage to stay at least 2M away from anyone during the duration of the run. As an experiment, I thought it would be fun to record a video blog at various points along the route. Here’s the first instalment. You’ll have to wait for the next few posts to find out whether or not I was successful!

Please note, I make mention of the date for the rearranged marathon, it is *NOT* October 9th, but October 4th!! Must not have been thinking straight. Anyway, you join me about a mile in….

For those who have already donated, thank you! For those that would like to, here’s a link to where you can pledge support.

https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/MarkHaworth3