The Long Haul

As I struggled in the record breaking heat over the last 3 miles of this years London Marathon, I smiled inwardly, with only a determined tight lip and a furrowed brow showing externally. I mused on my own philosophies about a saying I use much – “It is all about the journey”.  For me, at that moment, I was desperate for the journey to stop and so the pain too!  Bring on the destination!!

I really enjoyed the first 24 miles. The early splits were great, with my good chum Chris holding us true to a great 3.45hr pace, but the wheels definitely fell off for me over the last 2.2 miles!  Mentally I was fine, but my legs just stopped working. My run slowed to a rather pathetic shuffle. A frail grey haired lady whistled passed me on The Mall, arms aloft as she crossed the line at pace. My head bowed, arms limp, I smiled, shook my head and shuffled the final few yards unable to respond to her challenge.

But is this not a place where you learn?

Don’t you grow through being tested?

When you have to dig deep you develop a stronger core, a stronger character.

Through pain comes strength.

Self-pity is the worst human emotion and though I may have been hurting, it never crossed my mind to feel sorry for myself, only to keep going, to keep running – no walking!!

And how could I not be inspired by the incredible people running with me? Not only by their physical & mental endeavour and determination with personal bests, new British records, first timers & centurions, but for their beautifully altruistic and compassionate causes driving them on.

Poignant images of loved ones lost or suffering printed on t-shirts and banners clearly inspiring the wearer but also us all. Some I passed and many passed me, but with each picture, name and message my heart filled – “For Nan” “For Mum” and tragically “For little George”

Runners afflicted by the same illnesses pressing on, pushing through massive physical and mental barriers to prove they are still able and still very much alive.  Crazy costumes hampering the runners action but doubling their efforts to alleviate suffering for others.

With compassion being “empathy with positive action” this was such a huge act of collective, selfless compassion. Truly inspiring and up-lifting.

And thank you, thank you, thank you for all you crazy, cheering crowds lining every inch of the 26.2 miles. With encouragement, love, humour and passion the cacophony saw us all home.

But even though there was definitely a finish line on that day, that special sunny Sunday in London was no more than part of all of our own journeys in life. For everyone running, supporting, benefiting, helping, watching and organising another chapter of compassion was writ, another step in our journey was taken and, we all felt great!

Life is all about the journey

A journey of compassion

Continue yours at


By the way, my cause was the British Skin Foundation. If you feel like helping them, then please just pop over to my Just Giving page and do your most compassionate best.

Thank you

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