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a blog by Chris Barrow

Everyone is a winner

Allow me a moment of self-indulgence after yesterday’s Chester Marathon – nowhere near my best time but a combination of my work schedule and a niggling injury put paid to my hopes of a sub 4:30 – there will be other days.. I am reminded of a framed picture in The Bunker which reads:

A marathon is a race without race without colour without religion without sex without prejudice without nationality without hate A marathon is a race where everyone starts as an equal and everyone finishes as a winner

I posted on social media yesterday about my thanks to my son Joshua who paced me for the first 18 miles then ran on to finish in 4:12 (7 minute miles for the last 6!) and refused to collect his medal – he ran back down the course and virtually carried me the last 2 miles (I was in trouble). The reaction from the crowd at The Chester Racecourse as we emerged on to the track for the last 500 metres was tremendous and, although I was hobbling along with Josh holding me up, we managed to sprint the last 100 metres (funny where that adrenalin comes from?). There will be time to reflect over the next few days on what I need to do to improve my performance – probably a conversation with myself about hours/days worked and nutrition, flexibility and alcohol consumption! What’s for sure is that there will be more – the routine of regular exercise and training has benefits that go far beyond simple fitness. And, of course, the marathon itself can be a metaphor for many of the issues we face in our lives. Yesterday I knew after 11 miles that it was going to be tough – my LCL (lateral collateral ligament) has been inflamed for 3 weeks and I’ve been strapped up and dosed up (that’s a bit of ligament to the side of my right knee). There was a choice to DNF (did not finish) but I decided to just slow down and get to the finish line, no matter how long it took. I have to say that from about 15-24 miles it was pretty brutal and not helped by an unusually sunny afternoon for this time of year. I kept myself going by composing and thinking about what follows: “This run is dedicated to all those who:

  1. have been knocked down and had to get back up again

  2. have been gossiped about behind their backs by people who don’t know them

  3. have lost everything and still get back up every morning and do it again

  4. have been told they cannot succeed

  5. have felt as if they are failure

  6. have wondered whether life is ever going to throw them a favour

It really isn’t about how fast you run. Just keep going and get to the finish line.”

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