I ran my first London Marathon in 1995 and if you said I’d be running my 1,036th Marathon at the ‘2019 Virgin Money London Marathon’ this Sunday, back then, I’d have said ‘you’d lost your marbles’.
But then we never know what life has in store for us do we?
I remember that marathon so well; I’d trained SO hard for it. I might have only been running for a year or so, but having already conquered the half-marathon, it seemed a natural progression to accomplish a life’s ambition of running ‘The London’. Up to then I’d been a keen spectator each April to watch the race unfold on the BBC, and see the crowds take on the streets of the capital.
Being a keen drinker and smoker made it seem rather an impossible task ‘Pre-Coleman-Personal-Revolution’ but ‘Never-Say-Never’ (it’s one of my most used phrases nowadays as we simply don’t know what we will think or what we will want to do in the future. We can only surmise) and so it came to pass.
I’d enjoyed investing my time and energy into the training, the planning, the race itself and on the day, I jogged round in a very respectable 3.54.43, a time I’d be most happy with nowadays and I even featured on the BBC race highlights that evening coming over the finishing line hands aloft.
You see, that day, I felt like a WINNER.
And I’ve felt like a WINNER every time I’ve run 26.2 miles. And yes I’ve won a couple of them here and there and have the trophies to prove it but they’re only a reflection of who else took part really.
The satisfaction has come from taking part in all of them and enjoying every single step of all of them no matter how hard, easy, hot, wet, cold, well or poorly organised they’ve been. Not many people can say that about their marathon running career.
I’m speaking at the VM London Marathon Expo today and my key message to everyone taking part on Sunday is to ENJOY the 26.2 miles as you never know where the road will take you as it’s taken me a lot further than I thought it would back in 1995.
It seems like yesterday...
Read my story in my book ‘A Rebel and a Runner’ - just email me email@example.com and I can post you a signed copy for £15 inc P&P.
1,035 Marathons, 250 Ultras, 9 Guinness World Records & 15 Marathon des Sables