Started running in the running boom that was the 1980s and completed 6 marathons and what seemed like 100 half marathons in that era. In those days you could scour the adverts and run a half every weekend if you wanted to.
Had a wish to get under 1 hour 30 minutes for a half and was using the full marathons as stamina training runs with a best marathon time of 3 hours 35 minutes. (as I write I am now 61 and finish in around 5 hours.)
Eventually broke the barrier for the half doing 1 hour 29 minutes 26 seconds and – that was it – no more goals – I gave up running.
In 2010 my overweight stepson told me he was going to run a marathon for charity. The nice, fatherly thing to have done would have been to offer encouragement. To my shame, my immediate reaction was to laugh and say “I could run further than you.” This is why he entered us both for the Edinburgh Marathon.
Having trained and run Edinburgh and having done (among others) London and Cardiff (The Cardiff marathon no longer exists) It seemed logical to do Dublin and Belfast to complete the capital cities of GB & Ireland.
If you are keeping count then that makes nine and nobody can stop at nine. The last one, to make 10 and to give a nice number for a medals case to go on the wall, had to be a big one. The original Athens marathon, from the town of Marathon on the coast, up to the City of Athens was the ultimate test for me. Lots of long runs with hills helped to finish the course that has an accumulated total ascent of 4,800 feet.
The medals look nice in their case. Now what? An Ultra? Too old to start? The Cardiff Ultra is 42 miles from Brecon to Nantgarw in South Wales UK and I think it might be a stepping stone to a 50 miler – too late, entered it.