The London Marathon has been and gone for another year, as you well know it was very different to the previous 39. As an elite only race it was quite the unusual spectacle, and with a very unusual end.
Three performances though stand out to me.
The first an unbelievable and incredible finish from Sarah Hall, demonstrating commitment to training and that determination to chase after your goals when the unachievable is in front of you.
The second by Brent Lakatos to fend off his rivals in the men’s wheelchair race, showing strength and persistence to lead the effort and individual sprints to come out on top.
To view some marathon highlights and behind the scenes footage with the athletes click here: https://www.runnersworld.com/news/a34241725/sara-hall-london-marathon-results-2020/
Image: Miguel A. Amutio
The third I’d like to talk about a little more in-depth.
3) Age Groupers:
Whilst I enjoyed watching the elite battle it out, there was another battle going on all around the world, one of grit, resilience and some would say a defiance to circumstances… the age groupers, by this I mean the everyday individual who works and trains (although saying that Brent works as a full-time engineer and a full-time athlete which is an incredible feat!).
Watching the age groupers around the world competing in the first ever Virtual London Marathon was a particular highlight as it showed that we are able to push through tough times, come out on top and engage in activities that can bring hope, joy and a dose of happiness.
Taking part in the VLM:
This year I was fortunate enough to be able to take part in the marathon, well only the first 10k. This was to support my friend Jo on her epic effort which was in aid of the charity Mind.
Jo I coached last year to complete the 2019 version of the event. This year she embarked upon the race in a very different set of circumstances.
Jo as I mentioned runs for the charity Mind, she also runs for her family, and she runs as a woman who is willing to persevere, demonstrating great character, and like the rest of us she stands defiant to the giant of despair that is the pandemic of 2020.
Image: Miguel A. Amutio
Most of you reading this are not elite athletes on paper but you most certainly have the tenacity and capacity to have the mindset of one. You demonstrate that in-spite of difficult circumstances you are resilient and have the ability to be the best version of yourself. I am very proud of Jo and all athletes who attempted, competed and completed the VLM.
It can be you are sat there thinking, I could never do that? I don't have the ability?
What if you could. What if you made the time? Started a new routine? And what if you don't have to run the marathon as a starting point. Maybe it's worth contacting your local running club or if you'd prefer to start this journey solo (as may be required during a second lockdown wave) why not try the couch to 5k app.
From there you can build the distances, and eventually work towards the lofty achievable heights of the London Marathon.
Maybe you need to start believing in yourself like Sarah, like Brent, like Jo, and the thousands of people around the world.
To all of you, I take my hat off, keep on running!