Gordon here, and I hope all is well with you.
I’ve enjoyed watching the London Marathon ever since the first one, and always kept meaning to try it. I’ve written lots elsewhere about me running in 2008, so I’ll give a brief covering here –
I wanted to do it to mark hitting 40, but didn’t get in for the 2007 race. By the time I heard I wasn’t in, I had done so much training I decided to do it myself, so on the same day and time of the actual race I did 9 laps of my 3 lap training course.
I applied again the next year and got it, so managed to get my medal for finishing the 2007 race.
The marathon is such an obvious example of goal achievement – picking an easily defined goal, planning hot to accomplish it, and then putting in lots of hard work.
I really do recommend anyone giving it a go, (even though my groin muscle has never quite been the same since).
I was very sad to read this morning that a woman collapsed and died in the last mile of this year‘s race. There have been 10 fatalities over the years – most of them had heart conditions that they weren’t aware of.
I wanted to write about the marathon this week even before the London race. London has made a real impact because the runner raise so much money for charity, but it’s the new kid on the block at 32 years old.
The big city marathons have been going long before London. It was New York that inspired the founders of the London race, and the Boston marathon saw the 116th staging this week.
They had brutal heat, with well over 100 people ending up in hospital.
The Boston race headlines that have caught my eye involve women. A few years back, astronaut Suni Williams ran the race on a treadmill in the International Space Station, but I want to go back 45 years to 1967, and the story of Kathrine Switzer.
Like most sports, the participation of women was seen as either a novelty, or dangerous, and women were not allowed to enter.
Switzer signed the entry form K.V. Switzer, and presumably at the time you didn’t have to state your gender, as women weren’t allowed!
She was trundling along in the race, as word got around that a woman had entered. The press truck found her, and on the truck was one of the race organisers, Jock Semple.
Semple was known to have a temper, and jumped off the truck, and ran after Switzer shouting at her to ‘get the hell out of my race’.
He started to grab at her to rip her race number off, but her boyfriend who was also running sent him flying with a huge body check, and she finished the race with a group of men around her to protect her.
The pictures of the incident went all over, and naturally caused a storm.
In 1972, women were finally allowed to enter the Boston race. Switzer went on to win the New York marathon, set the 6th best time ever at the time, and campaigned to get the women’s marathon into the Olympics.
What a story! I only became aware of it as it’s 45 years this year, and 40 years since women were allowed to enter, but it combines the goal achievement of the marathon with goal achievement issues of struggling against barriers.
You may not want to run the marathon, your goal may not be to break any barriers, but can you relate your goal, whatever it is? Whatever it may be, define it, work out the plan of how to do it, then get on with the hard work!
The other main story is the 100th anniversary of the Titanic sinking. I did see some people say it was too much of a ‘celebration’ – I’m not sure I agree.
That incident had a real impact on the 20th century, particularly on class structure.
With all the books and films that have been made about it, including *that* film(!), the 100th anniversary was always going to be very heavily covered in the media.
I was drawn by the documentaries about the boilers and engineers, whose stories were rather overlooked.
They knew they weren’t going to get off the ship, they knew the were about to die, but struggled below decks to keep power and lights as long as possible to help save many others.
That’s the kind of thing well worth remembering, and if people don’t think it should be noted 100 years later, then I reckon they’re wrong.
So, it was a bit of a marathon newsletter this week! I’m sure by now you’ve either delved into the Titanic story or not depending on your interest, but how about checking out Kathrine Switzer for a good story.
Ok, that’s it for today,
‘Til Next Time,
Health & Happiness,
P.S. If you enjoy my wafflings, check out my book ‘Transform Your Life in 21 Days!’