24 April 2017

marathonWe’ve all heard of ‘mind over matter’ but could you keep going if you had nothing left in the tank?

I ask this question following the London Marathon yesterday. Seeing David Wyeth, of local running club Chorlton Runners, battling through the final 200 metres of the marathon as his legs buckled beneath him, I was completely inspired.

This man had nothing left in the tank. He was wobbling, stumbling and at one point began to fall backwards, but his feet were still moving forward. Despite the obvious agony of his screaming muscles and exhausted body, his mind was driving him towards his end goal.

Knowing the inconceivable amount of work and effort that this man had put in to getting that far, so close to hitting a huge goal, it was a hard watch. Until a runner from the Swansea Harriers, Matthew Rees offered a helping hand.

Matthew let his own time slide to focus on helping David over the finish line. The pair crossed the line with an extraordinary time, despite the complications – 2 hours 51 minutes. That’s running 26.2 miles at an average pace of less than 7 minute miles. It’s incredible!

I strongly believe that you can do anything you set your mind too – everything comes down to mindset. Running a marathon in less than three hours is already a huge physical feat, but to then face your body shutting down whilst still continuing to put one foot in front of the other is a real testament to the power of our thoughts.

It reminded me of the Brownlee brothers running the World Triathlon Series last year when Alistair helped his brother Johnny over the line instead of pushing forward for the win. For me though, this is even more remarkable. A complete stranger risking his own goal to help someone else achieve theirs; it’s astonishingly selfless.

Matthew told the press, “This is what the marathon is about – it’s about people – it’s for everyone. Moments like this make it worth it”, and I couldn’t agree more. He is an example of why sport is so valuable to our society. Pushing yourself to the absolute limit, setting a goal and working towards it, putting your goal aside to help others.

When you think about it, the sacrifice and camaraderie shown by Matthew on Sunday is seen up and down the country week in, week out on big race days, fun runs, club runs and community 5ks. The media attention of Sunday has really highlighted the undeniable benefits of sport.

The London Marathon is always incredibly inspiring to watch but this year was extra special. Seeing Matthew pointing to the finish line, shouting to show David just how close he was. It was inspirational on another level.

I would also like to send my congratulations to one of our UKFasters, Lowri, who took on the challenge to raise money for Cancer Research and completed the run yesterday. We’re all very proud of you.



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