The Marathon Runner

Temi & London Heathside X Country Club

Temi & London Heathside X Country Club

Roughly nine years ago, I started running. I’d given up smoking and coudn’t even run for a bus without wheezing, so I decided to give this much loved (by some) sport and form of exercise a go.

I asked my friend Temi, if he fancied training with me. We were both office workers at the time and I certainly struggled with running a mile. I never enjoyed running while at school and the jogs we were initially running ended up with me having to walk and run. Temi was more dedicated and would want to run at the crack of dawn, I was not so keen on this approach and we trained at different times, but sometimes still running together on the odd occasion.

About a year or two later I moved away. I started taking running slightly more seriously and I ended up training for a half marathon.

Temi, continued running also, and after I moved from Herefordshire he joined a local running club. Temi’s training stepped up a level upon joining his new club, and he went on to run the Birmingham half marathon, twice, and with a respectable time.

Temi Completing Berlin Marathon

Temi Completing Berlin Marathon

Berlin Marathon

By this time Temi was part living and working in London, so he joined a local running club there also. This gave him the inspiration and confidence to enter the Berlin Marathon.

This was Temi’s first attempt at a full marathon and his finish time was 4 hours and 2 minutes, not bad considering those early days when we both struggled with the first mile.

Temi is not a professional athlete, nor does he consider himself to be a competitive runner, he simply enjoys the freedom and experience of running, as I do.

Paris Marathon

Temi is now in training for the Paris Marathon. His training regime over the past few months has consisted of a few 10k runs and several off road runs.

I caught up with Temi via email and asked him if he was prepared for the new run and if he’d been building up to it:

I don’t eat anything special, just my usual food. I am not doing anything special. When I started preparing for the Paris Marathon about 3  months ago, I started aiming to increase my weekly run from about 25 miles a week to 40 miles a week. It’s hit and miss, some weeks I manage the 40 miles a week, other weeks I don’t hit the 40 miles.

I felt quite confident when I entered about 6-7 months ago, now that its about 3 weeks away, all my confidence has evaporated but I am sure I will have fun on the day which was the main reason for running the marathon, if I can finish under 4 hours, that will be an icing on the cake.

Temi ran the Berlin Marathon in 4.02, and his aim is to shave 3 minutes off that to make Paris in 3.59. He has high hopes but thinks it will depend on how he feels on the day.

I asked Temi if he feels comfortable when running the long distances and if he had considered running closer to home:

I don’t even know the make of my running shoes, I just know they  are very comfy. When I did Berlin, the first 18 miles flew bye without me noticing. The last 8 miles was a different matter, seems like 28 miles, and at that point I started thinking of how foolish the other 40,000 runners and i are, when sensible people are at home or in a  restaurant having a nice Sunday roast and drinking beer.

I would really love to run London, I just haven’t been lucky enough to get a place. Compared with Paris or Berlin where you just pay your 100 Euro and you have a place, London is not that easy, the entry is only open for a very short time and its sold out, so your chances of getting a place is almost zero if you go to their website.  The alternative is to get a place from a charity and most charities want you to raise about £3,000 or more to give you a place.

Temi has run and raised money for UNICEF in the past but as he states, sometimes it can be difficult to keep asking the same friends to donate year after year.

The points Temi raises and his determination to continue to run such fantastic events, shows that marathon running can be enjoyable as a sport, but also as a hobby, and for some it is more about competing than winning.

I myself realised the dedication that some people can put in when I ran the Birmingham half marathon last year (my third half marathon). I discovered that Haile Gebrselassie ran the same race that day, and completed the course in exactly half the time it took me to finish. I still enjoyed it though, and taking part was the main event, being in the same race as so many experienced and professional runners just goes to make long distance running such an inspiring and rewarding way to keep fit, and if you’re fast enough and dedicated, it can be a career.

*Update as of 17.04.2012

Temi was very pleased to complete the Paris Marathon in 3 hours 54 mins. Temi’s website:

Article by Simon Lucas

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