I’m not a marathon runner, but I can’t help loving to run marathons. I suppose that’s true in the same way that I’m not a writer, but that fact doesn’t stop me having a go.
The Dublin City Marathon takes place next Monday and I’m like a child waiting for Christmas. What makes it even more wonderful for me is that I know exactly what Santa has in his sack. ‘Dublin’ is like no other race as far as I’m concerned. It’s a festival, a celebration and a 26.2 mile long chance to run your little socks off. The race is organised by fantastic people who prove year in and year out that they have the welfare of runners at heart. They don’t just talk the talk – they actually go out there and do the business. If you have a good race to run, you’ll be able to do it in Dublin – there can be no excuses.
When I started to take part in marathon races, I had absolutely no idea how to prepare for or run such long distances. Although I’m still no expert, I’ve learnt a little bit about the process since. The most important lesson that I’ve learnt over the years has been how to enjoy myself. There was a time when I would become consumed with ambition to run fast, finish well and look good but I’ve learnt to manage all that stuff a lot better these days. Don’t get me wrong – I’ll be going as fast as my little short hairy legs will carry me on Monday – but I won’t stress like I used to. Even if it all goes completely ‘Pete Tong’ I hope to finish with a smile.
I’d also like to wish anyone else who’s reading this and who’ll be in Dublin the very best of luck on the day. Hopefully we’ll all run well, enjoy ourselves and finish with a smile.