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I don’t say too much on here, but I’ve run one marathon before, so I’d like to try and alleviate some of those pre-run jangles. If this is your first marathon, please try and relax.

By Carl Hood

Do you remember when you first decided to run in the marathon? The fear, and the rush when your confirmation came through? The first run of your ‘official marathon training’?

The intimidation at looking ahead in your training schedule, at the distances, and number of miles that seemed a million miles away, that you probably never really believed you’d ever be able to do? The missed runs when you’ve had a niggling injury, the panic as the marathon approached, with every change, every ache and pain causing distress?

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Well, you did it. You did all those miles. You built up your stamina, and strength, and you are about to face your challenge. Remember, the marathon is one run. You’ve already done the work. Try and relax, enjoy the occasion, and don’t worry about your time. It will be hard. It will hurt, your legs will burn, your arms, back, and neck will ache, you will find energy you never knew you had. You WILL have to force yourself to keep going, when your body is refusing.

Embrace it. Embrace the mental challenge, and bask in your achievement at the end. And it’s true what they say – the mental challenge is the hardest part. This is your first marathon. Whatever your time, you will have run a marathon! That’s some achievement. That puts you in the 1% of people on earth, who have achieved that. You can all be proud. You can brag, you can tell everyone, forever that you ran a marathon! You are all amazing! Don’t panic, don’t go too fast, and above all, enjoy the occasion.

If this is not your first marathon, once more unto the breech, dear friends….

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