Marathon Spirit


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So here I am, back in olde ye London town.

I don’t need to tell you all how good it is to be back in my very favourite place on earth. Everything is right in my world again except that my kids are 17,000km’s away, but they are in my very capable Mum’s hands who has been so generous to offer to mind them again while Rob and I are both away (thanks Mum!).

In 4 days I’ll be running my second London Marathon. I’m feeling more stressed about it than last year, my injuries have resurfaced and although I know I can finish the race in a good time, the worry is my knee pain will start at 30km+ so if that happens the last 12km will be slow and painful. But whatever happens I know I will finish.

I’m running solo this year too which feels a bit weird, last year I had two friends also running so I had one to carb load with the night before and one to start with. This year again I also have lots of people cheering me from both the sideline and from afar. It’s so wonderful to have so much support and I am so grateful for such fantastic friends.

The marathon spirit is wonderful. There is something about running a marathon that brings out the best in people. The expo the days prior to the race is one of the most amazing events to go to, the runners high oozes from every inch of the exhibition hall it’s held in and everyone is happy despite the crowds and queues.

Everyone has a marathon spirit story and I am going to share mine with you.

I have a friend in Perth who I met online a couple of years ago. In fact I have two friends in Perth who I met online around the same time. Both are runners, one is a she and one is a he.

Last year, even though we hadn’t met in real life, we trained together for 16 weeks while I was preparing for the London Marathon and they were training for another marathon to be held on the same day in Western Australia.

Sharing marathon preparation with someone brings a certain connection that I can’t explain. You share your ups and downs – lots of downs because training for a marathon can take you to some pretty low and lonely places where all you’ve got is your dream and your determination to keep you focused. When you share those feelings with people it kind of leaves you raw and open and running friendships are super special because of that.

So I share these with my two gorgeous friends I mentioned earlier. It helps they are both great people and a little crazy too so what’s not to love, right?

Two weeks ago I was perusing Instagram, as you do, and I saw a photo of my friend. I shall call him Ashul. He had just finished running a marathon and when I first saw the picture my first thought was one of guilt and panic because I didn’t realise he was running that day and I couldn’t believe I’d been so caught up in my own life that I hadn’t realised or supported him through his own training.

How could I have been so absorbed with my own training that I ‘d missed it? I felt sick.

So I sent him a message and apologised and told him I didn’t know he was running and he called me. I missed the call but said I’d call him from the airport the following day as I was leaving for London.

When we spoke the next day he told me the reason he hadn’t told me he was running was because he wanted to prove to me that you can run a marathon in a good time on limited training with a good foundation of shorter distance training. Similar to what I have done this year due to injury.

He knew how worried I was that I’m going into a marathon having only run once and sometimes twice a week for 16 weeks. Albeit mostly long distance runs.

So he ran it for me. To boost my confidence and know I wasn’t alone. I can’t tell you how much it means to me that he put himself through that for another runner. For me.

Someone he had faith in when she couldn’t find it in herself.

THAT, is what I call the marathon spirit.

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