I had almost forgotten the feeling, the tension in the days leading up to it, the excitement and the anticipation for what would drop through the letterbox. I’m not talking about exam results, job offers or anything like that. Something much more important. The London Marathon.
For those who don’t know, entry into the ballot for arguably the world’s greatest marathon opens the day after the previous race and with around 120,000 people vying for around 35,000 places then you can understand the chances of getting in can be pretty small. Going back 5 to 10 years ago, a postal entry system was used and payment was made by cheque. Following some Internet forums at the time, you could tell when your cheque was cashed whether you were in or not. This has all changed now card payments are the norm and payments are taken straight away and you are still not guaranteed that place.
I was surprised to see a red magazine-shaped package drop through the letterbox yesterday and when I looked closer at the back of it, I instantly recognised it. I nervously turned it over to see what name was on the front as my wife had also entered, and I let out a “yes” when I saw it was my name on it. Well, more of a “Yessssssss!” that everyone in the block would have heard. Anyone who has gone through this before will know what I’m talking about.
Even though this will be my 7th London Marathon, the excitement of receiving my acceptance is every bit as high as it was for my first and the others in between. London in 1998 was a life-changing event for me. Not only was it my first marathon, it was my first race other than the Perth 10k and the amazing experience I enjoyed taking part, inspired me to change career and take running much more seriously.
I am now relishing the challenge of running London again, the possibility of what time I can achieve and all the learnings of the performance of myself and others around me. 26.2 miles? Easy!