Earlier in April thousands of people ran the London Marathon. On TV a documentary was aired on how running can help with mental health issues. Watching the Mind Over Marathon, and watching the coverage of the London Marathon and seeing so many people run 26.2 miles got me thinking about the first marathon I ever ran. In 2013 I took to the streets of Berlin and started to run. I wrote about it then, but so much time has passed I wanted to write about it again because how I got there was very, very strange…
This was my first ever half marathon and I can’t tell you how excited I was for it. When Nike offered me a place and a personal pacer I couldn’t resist. I had heard so many amazing things about the course, the crowds, and the atmosphere. I wanted to experience it all AND I really wanted the beautiful leaf medal.
After a quick run together last weekend I was given the opportunity to compare marathon stories with Paula and ask her what her top marathon tips are and which of her many marathons is her favourite. I can’t tell you how excited I was about having the chance to run with and interview the World Record holder. I really, really hope you all enjoy this.
For more details on NRC and the Nike+ Running Club app visit Nike.com/london
‘I think my first marathon has to be on the list,’ Paula Radcliffe says as she sits opposite me after a NRC (Nike Running Club) shakedown run the day before the 2016 London Marathon. We had both just run a very gentle four kilometres from Oxford Circus to Holborn through London streets bathed in sunshine. ‘It was the first time running here in London, it went amazingly well and it was the race I had wanted to run with my Dad in 1985.’
I am so excited to write about this because it means I am on the other side of it! It is done and I and my knees survived, well sort of. It was a wonderful experience made all the better because my family were there with me, supporting me the whole time.
As you are reading this I am currently in Dubai not running. It’s very likely I am in the sea or in a restaurant trying very hard not to think about the marathon I am running next week (Sunday to be precise). When I had the chance to go to Dubai my initial reaction was to say no: I am a Serious Runner with a marathon coming up: of course I can’t go on holiday the week before and eat all the food and do all the sandcastle building while covered in all the gold I could find from the UAE. And in fact I did initially say no. And then I destroyed my knee and all training had to stop. Suddenly getting a good time in the Paris Marathon was becoming less and less likely and in the battle between running and Dubai, Dubai was starting to win.