Nine years ago today I was celebrating running The London Marathon.
I won't tell you the time. It was slow. Very slow.
It was more than five hours. less than six!
I always said I would never run another marathon ever again but since my dad died last year I have changed my mind and today I start training for The 2012 Liverpool Marathon in October.
I will be maintaining this blog and reporting on my marathon progress in a new blog here.
I intend for both blogs to be kept in their very own blogspheres but for one day only I am sharing the same post.
After that, no (or very little) running news here.
So here's the start of my new blog.
Please bear with me and normal service will be resumed soon.
26.2 miles is too far for any sane human being to run.
I had done it twice. New York in 2002 and London on April 11th 2003.
There was no need to do this ever, ever again. Right?
There is just one more marathon left in me - the 2012 Liverpool Marathon.
And this one's for dad.
For those who don't know my dad you can read his euology here.
My dad passed away on October 17th 2010 after a six year battle with Non Hodgkin's Lymphoma. The Mantle Cell kind.
For most of those six years he lived with cancer as well as anyone could.
He had slight relapses when the cancer became active but for the most part he would take the bus to hospital, have his chemo, get the bus home and be up on his roof fixing an aerial the next day.
He would cycle by my side as I ran, training for other races.
He would keep a lookout for me when I nipped behind bushes to answer the call of nature; he would hop off his bike ahead of me to open gates when we went cross-country and most of all he would keep me entertained with his tales.
I miss him.
Last year was a difficult one for me.
At the age of 45 I started a PGCE; I lost my dad; I got rejected for the many jobs I applied for and I felt old and useless.
I lost all the confidence I once had.
Although I did eventually get a job I didn't feel much better until I started to run.
The more I ran, the better I felt.
I would remember the days I had dad by my side and then one night, out of the blue I began to think about running a marathon again.
The last time I had - 9 years ago today - dad was by my side.
If you look carefully at the photograph you will see him on the right.
That's how I like to think of him now.
He may not be in the picture but he is still there, travelling on ahead, making sure those metaphorical gates are still open for me.
Running a marathon won't bring back my dad but it will give me plenty of time to remember the good times and reflect on how grateful I am that he was my dad.
I have set a target of £740.00 - £10 for every year of my dad's life.
This blog will chart the highs and the lows of my training over the next six months and hopefully, a final picture of me clutching another finisher's medal.