Why would someone want to compete in 2 marathons in 15 days is a question I have been asked many times by different people.
It started back on the 6/10/17 when Milton Keynes marathon was paid for and I was still awaiting for the result from the London marathon ballot but as we all know you are lucky to get a place this way.
However it did cross my mind and had various conversations with Phil Turner of what would happen if one or both of us ended up running both.
Relief is the only word I can use when my “sorry” email came through from the London ballot. Back to one marathon. However Phil was given a place through his work to run London and i had great pleasure winding him up about it (which as you will find out was short lived). However I then gave my rejection letter to Tim for a club place and after seeing how many people from the club also had their “sorry” letters I thought I would have no chance in getting a club place.
Then after 3 weeks of winding Phil up the day arrived of the club standards awards and the result of the club draw. Tim said the words “8 people applied for 7 club places and then one has decided to withdraw”. As the announcement was made my stomach churned and the smug look on Phil’s face of payback was nearly as painful as running both marathons. This is how the two in 15 days came around.
London was very hot as we all know, it was tough and so many people walking and stopping for drinks it was difficult to get into your own rhythm. By mile 13 it became clear that this would be a training run for Milton Keynes.
The weather was checked daily after London to see what was predicted for Milton Keynes but as it fell on a bank holiday Monday it was surely going to rain. How wrong could we be.
Driving to Milton Keynes the sun was shining, parked the car walking to the stadium where the run starts the temperature was already into the high teens and this was at 8am. Everyone was trying to find shade by the start area but this was limited. Most of the roads were fully exposed to the sun so very little cover as you run the course, running past the lakes and canal was teasing as all I wanted to do was jump in to cool down.
After 26.2 miles the race was done and so was the unplanned challenge of 2 marathons in 15 days.
It’s now a few days since Milton Keynes, legs and mind are feeling fine. The question going through my head now is what next.
What kind of deranged individual would sign up to run 2 full marathons just 15 days apart? What sort of person would be stupid enough to do such a nightmarish thing to their body? Clearly only the most marginally sane of people with only a passing familiarity with common sense would even briefly consider such idiocy before binning it along with similar flights of fancy and fantasy, much less sign up and even run both events. Factor in then, picture if you will, the shimmering tarmac of the hottest ever London Marathon followed by - 2 degrees hotter! - the reflection of sunshine off of water during the hottest May Day on record, upon which the 2018 MK Marathon was held. Which fool - nay, pair of fools - would put themselves through this mental and physical torture for the grand prize of 2 t-shirts, a couple of medals and bragging rights? Well me, of course; and Geoff Ranson.
With the benefit of rose-tinted glasses I entered the London ballot hot off the heels of completing the 2017 London Marathon, my 2nd full marathon. Inevitably I didn't get in on the ballot but that was ok - Geoff and I had signed up for MK Marathon anyway. Then I got into London through work.
Dilemma: should I defer MK and just train for London?
No, that would be sensible; I decided to do both. Responsible adult and role model that he is, Geoff happily ripped into me for 3 weeks for this decision. Right up until he found out that he was the happy recipient of one of the London club places.
The look on his face; it's how I imagine he looked when he discovered his childhood dream of succeeding in getting on Jim'll Fix It didn't match reality.
The marathons themselves were hot. And hard. And hot. Did I say hot twice? I meant to say it 3 times - it was blistering! I battled through London and then faced injury and had to limp around MK with a seizing up back in blistering heat. But I finished them. We defeated them; smashed them. Victors. Rest? Nope - next year, ultra!