I’ve always wanted to run the London marathon.
It’s my dad’s fault.
He and some friends ran it in 1983, when I was nine, and I’ll never forget it.
I have fond childhood memories of my dad going on long training runs, coming home, drinking orange juice on the back door mat, eating Mars Bars and lots of spaghetti bolognese.
Finally, on one drizzly London day, I took my place with the rest of the marathon spectators on the Embankment, just under Hungerford Bridge to wait and see my dad run by.
‘Who’s that man kissing mum?’ said my nan, indignantly, pointing at my dad who had found us in the crowd. I looked over to see a sweaty, messy, tired – yet jubilant – father, kissing my mum. I guess he was saying thanks for her part in helping him prepare and also celebrating that he’d almost finished the run! And finish it he did – in 4 hours 12 minutes and 19 seconds. A respectable time indeed.
Ever since, a small part of me has wanted to take my place on the other side of the railings and run London myself. About a year ago, the small part got bold and I decided it’s time to start training.
The journey started with a charity ‘Carol-a-thon’ challenge I did last December. It involved running 26 miles around London (stopping off to carol along the way). From there, I then ran my first a full marathon – the Luton 3 loop marathon – on 18 Nov 2012. But London was still calling…
Finally – the other day, I got myself a charity place in the London Marathon for 2013, running for a fabulous charity – the YMCA! A childhood dream is about to come true.
Now, I just need to start training and fundraising, big style.
Dad – you have a lot to answer for!