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March 2011

The agony and the ecstasy
7th March 2011

I came across a quote the other day from a man named Jerome Drayton. He said "to describe the agony of the marathon to somebody who's never run it is like trying to explain colour to a person who was born blind."

I'll have to take his word for it - unless they find a miracle cure for MS in the very near future I'm unlikely to run anywhere any time soon - but I'll also, on behalf of all those magnificent people who run marathons for charity, take exception to it. The sheer number of marathons in the calendar, and the sheer number of entries for them suggests that thousands take Drayton's words with a pinch of salt. The fact that a large number of them have run more than one marathon in their lives suggests that even though they know what agony is coming, the thought of the ecstasy they will feel at the finishing-line is more than compensation.

The MSRC is incredibly fortunate to have a band of heroes who have made huge sacrifices just to get to the start-line. They know that those sacrifices will all be worthwhile when they reach the finishing-line. They will have proved something to themselves and they will have made all their friends, family and supporters incredibly proud. Just as importantly they will have done something incredibly powerful, valuable and deeply appreciated for the MSRC and all those affected by MS.

Even though we haven't experienced it for ourselves, we've got an inkling of just how much energy, effort, self-discipline and sacrifice has already been put in by MSRC runners not just for next month's London Marathon but also for the Paris event a week earlier. I'm not suggesting that readers of this blog line the streets of Paris but I am urging everyone who can do so to support MSRC's marathon runners in London on April 17th. Either in person - so many runners have told me how a well-timed and/or personalized roar of encouragement can make an enormous difference - by proxy, sending positive vibes back through the television or radio, or through sponsorship we can all do our bit to lessen the agony and increase the agony.

One final plea: do not, whatever else you say, quote Jeff Scaff, who was obviously going for cheap laughs when he said; "If you want to know what you'll look like in ten years, look in the mirror after you've run a marathon."