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Friday, 23 April 2010

Marathon Madness

Marathon Madness

Marathon Sunday is one of my favourite Sundays of the year. When I was a kid I would be up early on a Sunday to eat before I went training, my mum and I would sit and listen for that music and then the marathon would begin on the Beeb. Back then, I would only see the first hour of the race before I had to leave. I would then meet my athletic club buddies and we would discuss the races so far and return later, exhausted from our Sunday morning hill session to see who had won. I would tune in again to BBC Sport in the evening to watch the full round up. This is how my marathon Sunday continued until I gave up Sunday hill sessions at University and was able to go and watch the race for the first time.

The marathon is an incredible feat for anyone. It is a long way. I always say that I think it is more or a car ride distance than a run, which although a joke is kind of true. This is why I think marathon Sunday is so amazing and it is in our capital city. When you watch the clock ticking in the corner of the TV and listen to Steve Cram and Brendan Foster discuss the mile times you think wooww. Their elites mile pace is faster then I could run 400m these days and they bound along with such ease. They are incomprehensible to me; the speed they run for 26.4 miles is extraordinary.

Then we come to the 'Masses' as they call it, from the serious amateur to the fancy dress rhinos. They are just as astounding to me as the elite if not more so. When I hear the varying reasons that people run the race it makes me feel so incredibly humble and often incredibly lazy! There are people that have literally never run before, they enter this, train and train and train and train and run the distance. It really makes me think that anything is possible with a bit of hard graft and a few blisters.

I fully recommend getting yourself to somewhere on the course (see web links below). It is a carnival atmosphere and if you get there in time to see the elites run past it is absurdly brilliant. Later in the morning as the masses pass everyone cheers, eager to see friends, relatives or even minor celebrities. I know I am being a little bit / a lot cheesy but it really does bring me out in goose bumps to see so many thousands of people enjoying this 'crazy' sport and how elated the competitors are to finish even in the haze of exhaustion. It makes me smile to see the spectators supporting the runners to continue when they look sore and tired and how one athlete will help another in their time of need. It really is a sign that true sportsmanship does continue somewhere.

So my message for this week is try to watch the marathon, either on TV or on the streets and enjoy it, be motivated by it and be kind to finishers on Monday when they can't walk - they are all incredible.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/local/london/hi/things_to_do/newsid_8617000/8617462.stm - the BBC info page. It has links to where to watch / facts / weather ect.

Good luck to all those competing.

Katie

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