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.

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