Running the marathon

On Sunday of this week, I’ll be running the 2019 London Marathon.

My primary feeling right now is fear, followed closely by nervousness, and a distant third is excitement.

I’m running for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution – the RNLI – they’re the charity that saves lives at sea. They’re like a fourth emergency service in the UK, except they’re all volunteers. They’re the people that come to save you if you are in trouble at sea or in a river like the Thames in London.

This post is less about trying to persuade you to donate – although if you are feeling generous or wish to show your support in any way, I would appreciate it more than you can imagine. See my JustGiving page to follow along.

The marathon is a distance I have never run before. Doing this is a venture into the unknown – will my body be able to cope? Will I make it to the start line without an injury? Will I be feeling 100% on the morning of the big day? Will I need to go to the bathroom mid-race? Will I eat enough of the right food to ensure I have energy to get me around? Will I hit the infamous “wall” unexpectedly and struggle to finish? Am I worrying about everything that could possibly go wrong?

The only thing certain to me right now is this: I would never have trained or run this far unless I had committed to entering for a place in the London Marathon.

If I can take out just one thing from this experience it’s that you simply don’t push yourself to your limits unless you have a really big hairy audacious goal to aim for.

And there aren’t many goals as big, hairy, or audacious as running 26.2 miles.

Just a few years ago I had barely run 5km. I hated running at school. And now, in just a few days I’ll be starting a race across an absurd distance.

The whole experience has had me thinking: is there an equivalent to the marathon in other parts of my life? How can I push the boundaries of my own abilities in other areas?

Whether it’s running or not – is there the equivalent of a marathon you can commit to to push the boundaries of what you think you can achieve?

Thanks to everyone who has supported me so far – whether with advice, suggestions, or donations. It means the world to me.

See you at the starting line!

James Gill

CEO and co-founder of GoSquared.

London, UK