Here it is. Marathon day. The day of judgement. The day of reckoning. The day of completion.
I’ve decided today is going to be as easy as A, B, C. This will be my mantra (along with any of my other mantras, as required).
Austrian Wines – my corporate sponsor for Leukaemia Care.
Blood cancers – the cause for which I’m running.
Chums – all my chums who’ve put up with me being an utter, utter running bore for the past nearly six months; the chums who’ve sponsored me to do this crazy thing; the chums who’ve helped me to keep my sanity; the new chums who’ve helped and advised in technical and personal capacities. I wouldn’t be doing this without you all, and I couldn’t have got here without you. Thanks guys.
As well as being reassured and affirmed by support from family and close friends, I’ve been sometime surprised and sometime humbled by the level of support from unexpected quarters. Thank you to everyone who has acknowledged my idiocy in supportive and encouraging, and indeed, financial, tones. I am hugely grateful and thankful to all of you.
Austrian Wines (the organisation that promotes Austrian wines) sponsored half of my running vest – see pic. For those I leave in my wake (ha, ha), the back has Leukaemia Care’s name and number. There are many occasions when I could think of using that strapline – it says “OMG! I’ll sure want a glass of Austrian Wine”. And let me just say, without prejudice, I’m a huge fan of Austrian wines. They’re some of my favourite wines in the world. The best rieslings and gruner veltliners are unrivalled. I’m under no pressure to say this. It’s what I have long believed, which is why it was a no-brainer to ask them to sponsor me. Is it a conflict of interest with the day job? Well, rightly or wrongly, I decided not. I make no personal gain from their sponsorship. My views of Austrian wines are unaffected. They’re certainly not all great, as with wines from any other country. However, I will indeed be having a glass of Austrian riesling or gruner veltliner on completion (there’s a bottle of each in the ‘fridge as I don’t know which I’ll fancy by the time I get home).
There’s also a bottle of Champagne in the frigo, and some English sparkling wine. Some English bubblies are some of the best wines around too. There you go, I’m nothing if not patriotic. Maybe I’ll raise a glass to her Maj. It is her birthday after all. Happy birthday Ma’am. They may even all get opened, and tasted. All in moderate (definitely, probably) celebration (hopefully).
Blood cancers have variously formed a backdrop and foreground to my life for more than a decade. Dad died from non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2004. Mum lives bravely with myeloma, having been diagnosed in 2005, helped greatly by a sympathetic and compassionate consultant.
I’m proud to be running under the Leukaemia Care colours … especially (and entirely serendipitously. Seriously, utterly serendipitously) as they are orange and purple, two of my favourite colours. Purple you probably figured already. Even my nails will be sporting these colours.
My sponsorship page remains open for a few months yet, should you be caught up in the patriotic moment of fervour that is the London marathon.
Last, and far from least, my wonderful, wonderful chums. Thank you guys. You’ve been so tolerant, enduringly patient and good-humoured, every step of the way. You’ve asked how the training’s been going even knowing you would get the full blown response in minutiae.
You’ve checked the day job is ticking over at an appropriate rate too. Thanks for keeping me on both my straight and narrows. You’ve sounded encouragingly impressed when I thought I’d reached a significant moment in training; chivvying when I was feeling like I wasn’t getting to where I thought I ought to be, with the work and the running; sympathetic and supportive when a pesky virus pushed me off the training wagon. And a couple of you have kept me training for the sprint triathlon we’re doing in three weeks’ time!
You’re all going to be in my head today, swimming around with those endolphins (see “Enjoy is SO not the word”) in one big pool party. We’ll have a great chat, though I may not remember what I’ve imagined we’ve talked about by the time I finish.