Saturday, 17 June 2017

This Time It Is All About Me

This time, I am doing it for me.

I have committed to running a marathon in September.

This will be my second marathon, my first being New York on 1 November 2015.

While waiting for the start of the race, I was very clear in conversation this is my first and last marathon.

My reason for this was just how hard the preparation had been. Long hours running and what was a constant spiral of one injury after another. Besides, if you only do one marathon, the world’s biggest and most prestigious is not a bad one to have done.

In the weeks and months afterwards, I was unwavering in the decision to have retired my marathon career and the only time I had regrets was when the 2016 New York event came around and wishing I was there again.

The New York Marathon is an experience that I still find difficult to describe. The crowds are amazing and I will never, ever lose the memory and feeling of coming off the Queenboro Bridge in to Manhattan and the start of First Avenue. The crowd was extraordinary in size and in noise and it felt they were there for me only. It was perhaps also amplified by way of the contrast of the silence that was the Bridge.

The Marathon starts in the Borough of Staten Island and goes through Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan and Bronx ending in Central Park. And the 5th Avenue Crowd and supporters in Central Park are almost as incredible as First Avenue.

A huge part of the motivation to run New York in 2015 was being part of a group of over 30 all running to raise money for Motor Neurone Disease research and for support services to those who have this terrible disease. Everyone completed the event and in excess of $200,000 was raised.

I surprised myself by continuing to run regularly the last 2 years, and more so, have been shocked at enjoying running. I started thinking about another marathon a few months ago but had to decide if it was running another that appealed, or was the main motivation or inspiration  more the going to a new City where a marathon was being held. I figured if doing another marathon was the main issue, I could do it in my own State or Country.

I also gave much thought to how I was going to avoid the pain that was the last marathon preparation.

My decision was to run another marathon because I wanted to. While I will be part of an MND team and will be raising funds, this time it is more for me than anything else, therefore the location doesn’t matter.

So, given that, it may as well be Berlin.

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