MK MARATHON AMBASSADOR 2019 – WOO HOO! by James Smith

 

Although I was a truly awful runner as a young man (I failed the RAF fitness test quite spectacularly on the first attempt – only just scraping through on the second attempt after being chased by a Brummie with fists like hams threatening to “punch yow head in if yow don’t hurry up” – true story!) I have come to love running in my late twenties (sub-editors please check – should this not say late forties?) – but running is still very much a learning process for me…

So, I’ve been working my way up from the 2017 Leighton 5k (my first race), through Cross Country, the Flitwick 10k and Leicestershire 10k (36th overall & 2nd V45 – almost certainly the best result I will ever have – I know! BOOM!), and the Buckingham, Burnham Beeches, Royal Parks and Dirt Half Marathons (my absolute favourite distance); but I feel that (and this is only my opinion mind – and thus completely worthless!) I won’t consider myself a “proper” runner until I’ve done a Marathon…

At this point, dear reader, I have an admission to make – with a gang of mates from work I’ve done the Oxfam Trailwalker 100km event for the Gurkha Welfare Trust in 2013 and 2014, so I sort of have a Marathon PB – 6.5 hours, and my second fastest Marathon is 7 hours, but to be fair they were on the same day – but they weren’t really like racing, fast walking mostly – at 50 miles I sat in an armchair and ate a bowl of casserole – a fuelling option NOT available at most Marathons – although you can probably get some Quinoa or an Avocado on the VLM ho ho!

I love the fact that you can run a Half Marathon on a Sunday – and be back running as normal by Wednesday, but as far as I understand, the toll on your body from a Marathon can take a while to recover from – so I’ve got a grand plan – no 100 Club for me – instead I’m going to run ONE!

And as I’m planning to only run one, I want it to be a spectacular one – I thought about New York, Tokyo, London, perhaps Berlin… But they didn’t have the out and out glamour that I was looking for; then I though perhaps Kielder, Loch Ness or Snowdonia, but they’re not scenic enough; so realistically there’s only one left – MK!!!

What’s that? “You’ve only chosen MK as it’s nearby and you can’t be bothered to travel?” How very dare you – I’ll have you know that the City of Dreams has loads going for it, for instance did you know that:

  1. You are never more than half a mile from a park (or a Nandos – although this bit “may” be made up).
  2. 22 million trees have been planted in MK (that’s more than 3.6 million for each of the Concrete Cows).
  3. Midsummer Boulevard is aligned so the sun rises at its east end on the Summer Solstice – actually true!
  4. The Point was the first multiplex cinema in Britain when it opened in 1985, although it’s shut now and looks pretty rough to be honest, I think they’re going to knock it down – alright this one was ill thought out.
  5. Cliff Richard filmed his Wired for Sound video in the Centre:MK – and I think we can all agree it’s an ABSOLUTE STONE-COLD BANGER!!

So, taking our own Super-Jen Garner’s advice – I applied to be an MK Marathon Ambassador for 2019 – AND GOT IN! What were they thinking?

I get a hoody, a Buff with a cow’s face on it – reason enough to apply! And I get to have a celebratory wee in the underpass of my choosing!

James

So, it’s all VERY exciting, and I’ve got lots to learn, and would appreciate any and all advice from everyone – the more conflicting and impractical the better!

p.s. I completely and genuinely have a really soft spot for MK, I think it’s massively underrated, but then I grew up in Leicester – go figure…

p.p.s I’ve started a blog at http://roadtomkmarathon.blogspot.com and my Instagram is getting ever more running related at https://www.instagram.com/hunstantonsmith/ – get me – quite the social media influencer, just wait until people see my MySpace page!

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