After 7 years of rejection, I finally got the email I’d been waiting for – and with it comes a flood of emotions.
Excitement. Relief. Stress. Anxiety.
I swore I’d never do a road marathon again.
My passion lies on the trails – give me mud over tarmac – countryside over suburbs – hills over A-roads all day long.
Yet I register for the London Marathon every year.
It’s one of the top five world marathon majors and with it comes high demand. Over 350,000 people applied for this years event through the general ballot – with a success rate of less than 4% – and I was fortunate enough to get a place this time around.
I’m not new to road marathons – I ran Manchester Marathon consecutively for 4 years straight (2016-2019) and completed the inaugural Birmingham International Marathon (2017) in my home city but more recently I’ve favored trail events – of all distances from mountain marathons to ultra marathons. This is my happy place.
Yet – the timing isn’t ideal. It falls 2 weeks after RH100 – my first 100 mile race – my key race in the calendar this year – but injuries aside, a 2 week recovery is doable – or at least that’s what I keep trying to convince myself. If I can get through 100 miles then 26.2 miles two weeks later shouldn’t be an issue. I hope.
This is LONDON!
The Big Smoke.
The hustle and bustle. The transport system. The expo – the financial impact – all these things that are causing me anxiety right now. I crave control. Preparation is key. I know that once I’ve got a plan – an itinerary of sorts – everything will fall into place and I can start looking forward to the event – and the endless landmarks the route has to offer; The Tower Bridge, Cutty Sark, Canary Wharf, The Tower of London, Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament, Buckingham Palace and finally the Mall.
It will be an experience like no other.
Time to plan.
It’s the London Marathon!