At time of writing it is the day before the Brighton Marathon and I am one relieved man. I’ve commentated on it, for the radio, since the first one back in 2010 and every year it inspires me. The sheer human determination, stamina and spirit to do the 26 miles and somehow still be smiling when you cross the finish line, is a sight to behold.
I get tired just commentating on it (I should get sponsored this year) so I’m full of admiration for everyone who competes. You can’t fail to be impressed by the professionals, who sprint the whole way and look like they could do another one, immediately afterwards. But it’s the stragglers that I admire the most. The ones that look like they shouldn’t be doing a marathon. The ones that look like they may have to crawl on all fours to get over that Line. People like me.
I did agree to do this year’s marathon, sometime last year and even spoke to the charity that I wanted to support. However, after hooking up with a personal trainer and realising what it would entail in terms of training and commitment, I decided I should probably stick to talking about it, rather than running it. Last year, something in my psyche said that I should push myself more and get out of my comfort zone. That definitely peaked when I abseiled down the side of the Grand Hotel. There was something about leaning backwards off the roof of that building (I’m terrified of heights) that said to me, ‘you’ve probably gone too far with this one.’
If I’m honest, I only ever wanted to enter the marathon because I like the idea of the crowd cheering you on at the end. But if I tell them too, I can get that over the microphone.