My name is Ian, I’m 51 years old and still will be on race day and this is my journey from unambitious jogger to the London Marathon.
I wasn’t much of a sportsman at school but I enjoyed football, cricket and running. However, in those days if you weren’t representing the school you didn’t get many opportunities to participate. As an adult I enjoyed playing more sport but never beyond a social standard and the last time I ran a serious distance was probably in 1986 when I Ran the World.
When I turned forty I thought I should take up some exercise and started running again, initially struggling to complete a couple of miles at a time. A friend at work told me about parkrun so I took part in a couple of those and that was when the bug really bit. I started going every week, enjoying the sense of progress and eventually joined a local running club taking on slightly longer distances on a regular basis.
Since then I have run a lot of 10K races and one half marathon but the expected burst in fitness and ability never came. I assumed that with regular running I would eventually get fit enough to run a marathon but that improvement never came. An annoying injury a couple of years ago, hampered by conflicting medical advice meant I didn’t do any running for several months and I haven’t really recovered my earlier fitness since. My 5K and 10K PBs remain unchallenged for four years and I find myself further from marathon fitness than ever. A moment of unchecked enthusiasm saw me entering the ballot for the 2020 London Marathon, fully expecting to miss out. My thinking is the only way I’ll get marathon fit is if I actually had a marathon to get fit for. Other marathons would be too easy to bail on but the big one should be enough to keep me motivated.
That’s the plan anyway.