So today’s the day folks – no, its not the day I suddenly love running again, it’s not even the day my kids start listening to me …. its the day you guys find out if you’ve got a ballot place in London. All across the country they’ll either be gasps and whoops of delight, or they’ll be cries of despair followed by slamming that bloody “commiserations magazine” across the kitchen and perhaps a few days or weeks of feeling a bit sore and disappointed before the “f**k them .. there’s other marathons out there” attitude kicks in .. and you’re right! there are loads of other marathons out there.
Yes, I appreciate this blog may come across as a bit hypocritical, I was lucky enough to get a place last year, but this year? well! the postman spent 5 minutes trying to squeeze the package through my letter box with me waiting the other side shouting “just push harder god damn it!” and with a pounding heart akin to a broken defibrillator I ripped open my package to whoops and yelps of delight … in fact I think I may have actually kissed my magazine before running around the house, holding it above my head, as if I’d just beaten Paula Radcliffe’s personal best marathon time …. I now have a full house .. I have a “Congratulations” Magazine from last year and a “Commiserations” magazine from this year …. and I’m so damn happy about that!
VLM last year was a bit like a bad pick ‘n’ mix – it was awesome, amazing, soul destroying, painful, exciting, excruciating… but I wouldn’t change it for anything. The training runs in 7 inches of snow, minus 10 temperatures, a visit from the Beast from the East, matching my wine intake to my miles run, juggling kids with work and training and feeling like I’d truly gone from Zero to Hero. The build up was immense, the support from the running club, friends and family was overwhelming, the actual run was really rather emotional and the entire weekend was just totally unforgettable … but would I do it again? well maybe … but 2019 is just too damn soon for me to even try.
I’ll be honest, I wasn’t going to apply but I think I got caught up in FOMO, had a glass of wine and panic-applied and then swiftly forgot that I’d done it! but I’ll be honest, I’m so pleased it was a “No” from VLM this year – in my mind, it was the right result, once you’ve done it you should make way for other people who would like a crack at it (hypocrisy at it’s best from me today! lol) My ballot money has gone to charity AND I’ve got this GORGEOUS running jacket which I will be proud to wear during the marathon next year whilst supporting the lucky runners who made it through.
So what should you do if you didn’t get in? Well, yes there are charity places out there but again, it’s a bit of a double edged sword – do you apply for a charity you don’t believe in because you’re desperate to run London? do you apply for a charity that you DO believe in and spend the next 6 or 7 months raising thousands of pounds for worthy causes whilst training? both are admiral and both have the same result for the charity and raising money for all causes is a positive thing, or do you look around for other marathons? There are plenty out there as the list below shows
- MK Marathon – 05/06 May 2019
- Edinburgh Marathon Festival – 25/26 May 2019
- Greater Manchester Marathon – 07 April 2019
- Brighton Marathon – 14 April 2019
- Great Welsh Marathon 14 April 2019
- Blackpool Marathon – 28 April 2019
- Stirling Scottish Marathon – 28 April 2019
- Three Forts Marathon – 5th May 2019
- Bewl Water Marathon – 11th May 2019
- Brathay Windermere Marathon – 19th May 2019
- Liverpool Marathon – 26th May 2019
- New Forest Marathon – 9th September 2019
- Loch Ness Marathon – 6th October 2019
- Bournemouth Marathon – 7th October 2019
- Yorkshire Marathon – 14th October 2019
So for those of you who applied but didn’t get in – don’t despair, don’t lose heart, there’s always next year, and as you can see above there are loads of amazing marathons across the UK that will challenge you and you’ll still be one of those “1 percenters” who have run a marathon. Even if the location isn’t London, even if the ‘undulation’ in each marathon is different, even if there’s no Tower Bridge and no chance of waving at the queen – the distance is still the same, the end result is still the same, you still would’ve run a marathon which is a bloody long way!! And just think of the amount of piss taking you can do to any of your friends lucky enough to get in! …. the copious amounts of jokes about blisters on bums, walking like ducks, losing toe nails could see you through a year as a stand up comic if nothing else (although you may find your FB friends list drastically reducing!) but more than anything else I would urge the ones who DON’T get in, to try and be pleased and supportive to those who DO get in – that was the toughest thing for me to cope with last year, the balance between being elated but having to soften your approach to ensure you don’t upset the people who were unsuccessful is much tougher than running 26.2 miles … so please! from the heart of my blistered bottom, as disappointed as you may feel, offer a friendly hand of support and encouragement to those who are successful …. what goes around, comes around and if you’re successful in the ballot next year? ….well, you just may find those hands your friends held out to you for support which you failed to take, are the hands used to shove you in the River Thames..
And as the saying goes …. “When the door doesn’t open, maybe it’s not your door..”
Good luck to you all!
Until next time