Tales of a (not very good) marathon runner

Echo: Chris Phillips - completed the London Marathon Chris Phillips - completed the London Marathon

READ through the previews for the London Marathon and there seems to be a world record for pretty much everything.

The fastest super hero, the speediest suited runner and practically everything else you care to mention has some kind of record attached to it.

But I believe I am now also the proud owner of a unique world record myself as, out of the 36,000 runners, I must be the only one to still not know their finishing time.

This has been done completely by choice because I know how much I struggled and that my time would only quash my pride at having made the finishing line.

I should have known I was in for a long day when I managed to get the train in the wrong direction when making my way to the start line.

However, upon finally arriving I came head to head with a giant camel.

Upon seeing him, my friend (and thankfully chief navigator) remarked that it did not matter what time I ran just as long as I beat this camel.

At the time it seemed incredibly funny and we had a good old giggle.

But three, OK maybe four, hours later, the smile had been wiped from my face when this fluffy, eight foot tall cuddly creature appeared at my side.

Now when running a marathon it is impossible to describe the various emotions and feelings you go through.

Most of your body aches at some stage, you will cry no matter how manly you think you are and you will also doubt whether or not you can continue.

That and forgetting what the last mile marker actually was are things that you expect to happen and can eventually deal with.

But in times of severe mental and physical torture, nothing can really prepare you for being over-taken by a giant Bagpuss, Buzz Lightyear or Bob the Builder (even though he probably did fix it!) Unfortunately, I had no choice but to let them float past me but the camel was not going to get the better of me.

Despite being in agony with my back I dug deep to ensure I remained ahead of the originally named Humphrey.

This went on for a good hour or so and meant I had to deal with hearing the same he’s got the hump joke and another one I just can’t mention in a family newspaper for quite some time.

Thankfully, I managed to finish ahead of Humphrey to prevent myself from endless ribbing from my friends but I did not do it in a time I would have been pleased with.

Despite running the whole way for the first time in four attempts, I know I recorded my slowest ever time!

Perhaps I can walk faster than I can run but I will never look at just how long it took me to finish.

People still think I am joking when I say I do not know my time and unfortunately there was not a faster finisher with the same name as me who I could pretend was actually me!

But, all jokes aside, I guess just making it round was an achievement in itself for me as running remains something I find a real challenge.

As a result, I very much doubt I will ever attempt to do another marathon ever again.

However, I seem to remember saying that before, three times!

And I do still dream of recording another finishing time I am not too ashamed to reveal – even if that does stop me having another world record!

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