The End of the Road
A week after the London Marathon, with my legs now fully healed and my medal sitting proudly on the mantelpiece at home, I have mixed feelings over the whole experience.
At the last refresh page, I have managed to raise over £2500.00 for WellChild, and for that I am enormously grateful to those who donated and extremely proud of what he have achieved together.
I managed to make it around the whole course and finish, even though my knee kept saying to me ‘you cannot do this!’ It took me nearly six hours but I am proud!
The day before I saw Scouting for Girls…
And, with the help of my new best friend James, brought my sister in law to the brink of tears with my nervous pre-marathon ramblings…
The atmosphere beforehand was one of quiet excitement and anticipation and maybe, as I made my way around Greenwich Park and indulged in at least 7 nervous wees, one of trepidation also.
Similarly, there was a strange kaleidoscope of emotions at the end – relief, joy, disappointment, fear, happiness and shock at seeing Sky’s Chris Kamara. Unbelievable.
It was also weird in Horse Guards Parade, where I met my support team of Michelle, Romina, James, Josh and Simon (Ruby had sadly returned to work so that she could continue to fund my wild lifestyle). I was so happy to see them, but I also felt guilty at having jogged their Sunday and almost ashamed of how long I had kept them waiting. They said they didn’t care and im sure they don’t, but I regret how long the whole thing ended up taking.
Why did it take so long? If you take my two knees as wings of the political spectrum, and the marathon as a general election, the right knee/wing continued to do its own thing, whilst the left flared up and made an almighty noise arguing with the rest of my body to stop and put an end to this nonsense. This is reflected in my 5km splits, which were pretty consistent until Mile 19…
So there’s pride in finishing but also sadness at not meeting my personal target of 4:30. Which leads me to consider…
Should I try again next year?
Should I just leave it at 1 Marathon and reflect on the enormity of it all?
What happens if my knee goes again? It was more painful than watching The Devil Wears Prada.
If I do do another marathon, should it be London or elsewhere? Edinburgh? Berlin? Rome?
Should I give up or should I just keep chasing pavements?
The ballot closes on Friday. What do I do?
Alas, I fear I already know the answer. Like Icarus I was burnt for daring to dream, daring to think I could beat the Kenyans and Ethiopians. But, like my heroes Sean Connery and Justin Bieber, maybe it’s best to Never say Never Again.
The final words must go to you, for reading this blog and taking an interest, however fleeting or profound, in this part of my life for the last 4 or so months. The day itself was unforgettable and I was struck time and time again. No, not by children throwing jelly babies, but by the kindness of the human race, something I think we all have doubted recently. Complete strangers yelling my name and telling me to keep going, not just me but all those around me – it was completely overwhelming. I may have been left a broken man physically, but my faith in people and spirit had never been stronger.
Thank you and, as ever, keep on running!