Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Loneliness of a not very long distance runner

Too late. My ‘secret’ is out. Rather than take out a super-injunction, I have decided to come clean. I have registered to run in the 2012 Virgin London Marathon. There, I have written it down and pressed ‘publish’. I am a man of my word, and there is no going back now!

I have confided in a few close friends and family. The general reaction has been to raise the question ‘why would you want to do that?’. After thanking them for their encouragement, I proceeded to explain that this is something I have always wanted to do.

One of my first tasks as Chief Executive was to stand on the finishing straight of this year’s event. As I watched the sense of achievement of the faces of so many runners, whether they were sprinting or hobbling, I was genuinely inspired and, much to my surprise, that inspiration has stayed with me. My Dad and brother have both run the marathon previously - so it must be at least genetically possible.

The other big reason is, of course, TeamPB. I am so proud that The Prostate Cancer Charity and Breast Cancer Care have come together to be the official charity partners of the marathon in 2012. In the Olympic year too. It is blooming marvellous and I am looking forward to being part of TeamPB (and not just because it is an excuse to wear luminous pink in public), and running with what will hopefully be our biggest ever team. I know I am biased, but it is great to be involved in a partnership between two great charities that has the potential to last long after the marathon.

So, the training has started. It is very small steps on a long journey. I have a programme that I am following (most of the time). I have avoided the first major risk of injury when I had to climb into the back of the wardrobe to find my running gear. I am sure my colleagues will rally round and support my efforts people on the weeks when I think this is the stupidest idea since the invention of the one legged bar stool. I will keep you posted on progress, as well as my blisters, and remember you are being given plenty of warning – I will be asking for lots of sponsorship!

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