If you are a marathoner and luckily posted in London, running a London Marathon is a must. After all, every Marathoner dream about running the prestigious London marathon, at least once in his/her lifetime. For me, it was a God-sent opportunity, until I was caught with the battle against depression.
Quick fact: The probability of obtaining a place in London Marathon 2019 was just 4.2% (highlights the popularity) i.e. Runner’s Applied to Selection ratio of 24:1.
So, what you need is more of a luck to get shortlisted for the marathon. Not everyone gets through the ballot process. And people had to wait even for more than 5 years to have their chance.
Background: Dream of the London Marathon
I was posted in London for two years and as every runner’s dream, I too had a wish of running the famed London Marathon. But, I guess, destiny had some other plans for me. And, unknowingly, I had entered the stage of depression and was finding it difficult to overcome that stage of my life.
The depression phase continued for months until I declared to fight back. I chose to fight depression with my passion and finally enrolled myself for the London Marathon. However, as happened to many others in the past, I also did not make it through the Ballot entry process.
Though disappointed for a moment, I quickly recovered and decided to register for the marathon, scheduled after the London Marathon.
The Kingston Upon Thames Marathon
I signed up for the Kingston Upon Thames Full Marathon and started training for the race. Though I had been a part of many marathons before (all in India), I was feeling like signing up for the first time.
It could be because of the long gap I had before this marathon plus, the weather conditions in London were also different, unlike most of my other runs in India. This was for the first time I was running in almost -5 degrees Celsius, with rains and muddy trails.
“It is difficult to train for a marathon, but it is even more difficult to not be able to train for a marathon”
Most of my practice was solo long runs, sometimes followed by basic stretching exercises before and after the run.
This was, till my neighbor who also enrolled for a half marathon, wished to join me for the training. It was his first marathon, so I helped him with a month-long training plan and, practiced along with him.
The Race Day
The weather was too cold, and it was raining heavily. I was feeling very nervous at the start line shivering in the cold due to the extreme temperature. There were participants from almost 40 countries.
As the countdown was about to begin, the organizers started to announce the names of the Participants from overseas countries. When I heard my name with the country India, a spark ran through my body and I was like wow!
OK, I cannot describe the feelings here but trust me, my body language completely changed after this. I was full of positive vibes. And did I mention that I was the only one from India participating in that Race?
It was a muddy trail along the Thames path with scenic views and mesmerizing natural beauty. Rains and winds had already made the course even tougher. It had been a very long time and was waiting for this desperately.
I had almost lost my confidence in myself whether I will able to complete this run. However, the thought of sole representation from India and my internal war against the depression pushed me, motivated me, and kept me going till the finish line.
The Finish line
I cannot describe how I felt seeing the finish line materialize on the horizon. It was a miraculous moment. I crossed it, and a wave of disbelief washed over me.
Even though I had run 75kms and more than 50 races, this one would be always special for me. And this course had led to my personal best time in any Marathon which I had run.
Initially, it hurts but trusts me it is the best feeling you could get after you are through.
“There is always a trade-off, the hardships that one faces test one’s commitments”
This was my first international marathon and I rate this very special. Not because of achieving my personal best under the challenging conditions like weather, course, etc. but more because it helped to reclaim myself from the claws of depression. I was feeling myself, after a long time.
Finally, I would say, take out some time for your passion, do what you love. It can be reading, writing, playing a sport; anything which makes you feel yourself. This will help you keep the momentum of life going and will inspire you to do wonders.
As it is rightly said,
“Allow your passion to become your purpose and it will one day become your profession”
Thank You for reading it through. The purpose of this post is to highlight the importance of having a passion.
Do let us know if our posts could have probably inspired and motivated you to take running as a passion. There cannot a better appreciation than this, as this is the sole purpose of our blog.
Also, if you love the post, do show us your love by sharing the same.