Talking Sport: Am I mad for my marathon efforts?

Running marathons and half marathons can be like catching a bug
Running marathons and half marathons can be like catching a bug

I’m mad. After hobbling the last six miles of the 2013 Brighton Marathon and promising myself “I’ll never be doing that again”, what have I registered for? The 2014 Brighton Half-Marathon, coming up on February 16, writes Craig Peters.

Last year the event had just over 10,000 registered runners so it shouldn’t be taken lightly. At 13.1 miles it is very hilly with a steady climb at the halfway point towards Ovingdean and Lewes.

So why am I putting myself through this again? Well, the marathon was one of the most memorable experiences of my life. Despite the excruciating pain (and it was excruciating) over those last six miles, the walk back to the train station, the train journey and the following five days, the day of the run itself simply brought the best out of everybody.

It reinforced my belief there is good in everybody and it was a fantastic feeling.

I was warned that, despite any pain you may feel, you will catch the marathon bug, and that has been the case. It was overwhelming to see so many spectators throughout the route of the run coming together to cheer the participants on.

I knew it would be well watched, but nothing had prepared me for the level of camaraderie displayed between the runners and by the public on the sidelines.

Strangers were yelling “Go on Craigo”. Craigo?! Not even my best pals call me that. Families were standing outside their homes with trays of cakes and oranges, and others runners, seeing you were struggling, would put an encouraging arm around you and give you much-needed words of reassurance. Togetherness is the theme of a marathon.

There is also the charity element. I’m very proud to say I raised more than £1,000 last year for Dementia UK and this year I’m raising money for St Barnabas House Hospice.

Running a long-distance race is win-win for everyone, even if it does cause you pain. I look back at last year’s race with great fondness, despite the injury I suffered which I honestly not wish upon my worst enemy. But the positive vibe can get very addictive – I can’t wait to experience it all over again on February 16.

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