Striders Take the Roads of London in their Stride!
It’s the ultimate one in the UK. It’s no longer than any other marathon but if you complete another, inevitably, you will be asked if it’s the same distance as the London Marathon. Probably. And if that doesn’t happen, people will be in awe at you completing it. They won’t bat an eye at any other marathon you mention.
It’s tough to get into. Put yourself through a national ballot and wish your summer away waiting for October to come along to see if you’re in. If you paid for the privilege to be told ‘No!’ then you receive your consolation winter training jacket. Which is usually black so not all that good for winter training, really!
If you were really desperate for that London medal, the hunt begins for a charity place. Who has spaces left? Who will want you? They DO want you! But you will have to raise £2000! (Usually, at least somewhere near that) Now the fundraising process begins. It wouldn’t be too bad if it was just you but you have become part of a running community and suddenly about 20% of you are running and raising money for, London. Oh. Well – best get on with it!
Belonging to a running club (Cornelly Striders 🙂 ) gives you another chance to put your name into the ballot. The club ballot. It’s a tense evening. We’re trying to enjoy the celebrations and awards and so on but really, what everyone is waiting for is the climax of hearing the name (or names if VLM hasn’t changed the member rules!) that will be representing the club. You breathe a sigh. A mixture of relief, disappointment and happiness.
But some have a different goal. They plan to get their GFA (Good For Age). You need to be bionic for this. Or in the right age category 😉 Yep, runners don’t mind getting older. The qualifying time lengthens as the age categories creep up. And maybe retirement gives more training time??? Hmm… will have to ask Dave. But running can be cruel. You might hit the qualifying time and then find out, not soon enough, that because so many other people also hit the qualifying time, they’ve upped the stakes. So even then it’s not a given.
But I have lost my trail of thought… this was about the Virgin London Marathon 2019 and the amazing Striders that hit the streets. Those running it and those supporting.
Anthony and Steve won the club ballot all the way back in 2018. Setting an exceptional example with their training, they truly smashed London!
Dave and Ross had earned GFA places. Dave was just back from running the Boston Marathon. Yes, this one is also the same distance as London. Unfortunately Ross suffered injury and has deferred until 2020 where he will own the roads!
Kate and Gav secured their places in the national ballot. Sadly Gav had to postpone not too soon before but we know he’ll be there strong and with full support.
Carolyn, Claire, Eve, Georgina, Justine, Kellie, Peter, Steph and Tracey showed amazing commitment through their training and fundraising for the places they secured with various charities. It is true to say that charities are really benefiting from this running boom. Obviously the money helps, but the awareness being raised is also incredibly important.
What a weekend! Fun had by all with Striders heading to the other capital for sightseeing, tube travelling, t-shirt buying and trying to recruit Mo. He said we’re a bit too far to travel for training nights otherwise it was a given 😉 Even amongst the tunnels of noise, the Stiders cheers were the loudest of them all.
Every single one of you was amazing. You had the best run you could on the day and showed the strength of being a part of this running family. Hopefully you felt that support being thrown right back at you, from one mile to the next. Bravo Striders!
All for one and one for all.