A Meaningful Bath Half Marathon

I ran the London Marathon 6 years ago when my husband was still suffering the effects of surgery on a Brain Tumour. Today I ran the local Bath Half marathon to raise money for a Brain Tumour Charity. It was pretty reminiscent of the London marathon for me personally (as with minimal training it felt equally as gruelling) and reminded me of the many meaningful facets of running marathons.

It starts with great excitement and a sense of expectation - perhaps like young recruits going off to war, but beneath the surface you know it could be tough ahead. But the crowds are there to cheer you on so you feel like a semi-hero, for the first few miles at least. However as the course gets tougher as the legs get tireder, you have to dig deep. This is where it becomes a real metaphor for life, for the tough times in life. You then start to rely on the crowds, but in particular there are a handful of truly genuine supporters who catch your eye as they encourage sincerely and you really sense their words aren’t empty or beer fuelled but they really mean it. And this is real fuel.

As you get into the final few miles you need to do some serious self talk, basically, ‘You can do this’ (is what I told myself) and you believe it.

Marathon running (or half!) on one level is a rather obscure and nutty pastime, but on another level it’s deeply profound as many people commit to the course, representing people or causes they love. There are those that can’t run, like my husband, but there are those of us who can. And we do it for those who can’t. Not just to raise money, but in a sense to say to them, to ourselves, to the ether or whoever wants to know, ‘You can do this!’ By ‘this’ I mean ‘life’ with its twists and turns and obstacles. We are all ‘running’ the course of our lives and sometimes we just have to be bloody minded, with limited practise or aptitude and just tell ourselves ‘You can do this’. So I know that my little run, (that is nothing compared to what many athletes do), is yet something significant. It’s adding to the collective human hope that ‘We can all do this’, this journey of life, the best we can and one day we shall finish the challenge!

Olivia Shone