Tomorrow will mark my third attempt to get into the London Marathon.
Three times, hopefully lucky.
It’s odd as I never really thought (before the age of 30 I should say) that I would ever become dedicated, even attached, to the notion of one day running the London Marathon. Considering that I have run a marathon, and several very large half marathons before, to be fixated on one particular race is a bit awkward for me.
Perhaps it is because it is selective. Take for instance the Boston Marathon, a marathon I will most likely never qualify for. People work years to get into the Boston Marathon, because it is the Boston Marathon. A race that has history, depth, might, glory. London is sort of my Boston, because it has so much around it. I know, when I make it in, there will be thousands of people who run just like me, so I can expect, even practice on the crowded Oxford streets, the heat and pace. I’ve spectated it, so I am familiar with the never-ending crowds and water stations longer than some races are. I am fully and totally aware that I am entering into a complete asinine situation.
And yet, I want this.
I want it because I can say I did it, because I know I will do it, because I know – as a marathoner – that once you finish a marathon no one can ever take it away from you. Thing is, I know I want to run more marathons – many well away from London – but it is the notion, the thought, the idea of London that keeps my applying every year since I moved here.
So, tomorrow I do it again. And if I don’t get in, there will be next year. And the year after that. But one of these times it will be my turn.
And I will finish. And they won’t take it away.