"My ideas for events, which are frequent, are usually met with stony silence, derision and contempt from the For All Events team. This was exactly the case with the Plusnet Yorkshire Marathon. I think they were simply hoping that because of my age I’d forget about it. I’d like to say it was strategically planned and everything I do is a success, but a lot of it is based on intuition. A lot of the time, it’s about luck and timing.
I’ve long felt that Yorkshire has been short of a flagship run. The Leeds 10k, which was Jane’s legacy event, has had 11,000 competitors, which has been great. But I thought the bar could go higher. With the success of Yorkshire in the Olympics medal table, the timing was perfect. We’ve also had time to forge a good reputation as a charity, allowing us to open doors where once they would have been locked. So what started out as an old man’s whim becomes, on the 20th October, a reality. And we have 6,100 people devoting many hours training to achieve what is still the most wonderful of achievements - a marathon.
A huge bonus for us has been securing the support of our sponsors, Plusnet. Our relationship with Plusnet started a few years ago when one of my IT colleagues started working there. First Plusnet gave us broadband support, then hosting, growing to become the title sponsor for an event. I feel very lucky to have a sponsor of Plusnet’s standing; its involvement brings not just fiscal support and marketing, but, by association, set the brand at the correct corporate level. In life you are judged, at times, by association and, in this respect, we couldn’t be in better company.
As for the marathon, personally, I’ve done 5 - I think. But for me it goes back to Jane. She was close to death when she decided to run one and, with amazing mental strength, great chemo drugs and fierce determination, 18 months later in April 2002 she did just that. In 2003, I think she ran the marathon whilst on chemotherapy and only 36 hours after finishing a cycle ride from John O’Groats to Land’s End. However, if you believe running a marathon is still too much for you … In 2004, Jane completed an Ironman; a 4km swim followed by a 180km bike ride then a full marathon, to be done inside 17 hours. Someone once told me running a marathon is 70% in your head. It is. If you want it badly enough you will do it.
One thing you can guarantee is you’ll remember that day for the rest of your life - and will always be part of a special group of people. Go on give it a go!"
Despite all places in the race now being taken, running enthusiasts amongst you still have the chance to take on the challenge of a lifetime and do yourself proud by entering the new Plusnet competition.
To be in with a chance all you need to do is enter our sweepstake competition over on our Facebook page.
The terms of the offer can be read here.
Are you thinking of running a marathon this year? Perhaps you ran the London Marathon last month or have a cheeky 10k lined up for the Summer? Either way we'd love to hear from you in the comments below ...
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