London Marathon – the REAL cost

I now have less than five weeks to finalise my preparations to run The London Marathon 2019. It has taken a lot of work, a lot of injuries and a lot of pain. Due to the injuries, the chances of my completing the challenge by running the whole distance are down to zero. I simply have to adopt a walk/run strategy. It’s not how I wanted it to be. But I won’t complain either. Nearly ten years ago, after waking from a coma following a brain haemorrhage in April 2009, I was lucky to even be able to walk, let alone run. I need to keep things in perspective. I will finish the course, but I may have to accept that marathon running is not for my body. Less than a year ago, my joints were unable to take the strain of running even a mile. But by changing my running technique and building up my body strength, I’ve been able to run much, much further. I’ve discovered the joy of ParkRuns, occasionally running 5 kilometres on a Saturday morning. To be able to do this is more than I’d anticipated I’d ever be able to do only a year ago. I’ve so far brought my ParkRun time down from 36 minutes exactly to 27 minutes and 18 seconds. I intend to bring it down further.

Coma photo

A few days after awaking from a coma ten years ago, and (inset) completing the Newport Half Marathon 2019

I’m privileged to have been given a place in The Brain and Spine Foundation’s London Marathon Team #TeamBrainAndSpine. As a part of my inclusion in the team, one of my tasks is to raise at least £1,800 for them. I’m well on the way to reaching that target. I’ve had many kind donations for this fantastic charity that offers support for people who are suffering with neurological problems. But what has been the financial cost to me? What if I’d stayed in bed and saved the money I’ve spent so far and gave it directly to The Brain and Spine Foundation. This is roughly what it will have cost me in total:

  1. Marathon entrance fee……………………………….. £100
  2. Two pairs of running shoes……………………….. £280
  3. Running kit…………………………………………………..   £60
  4. Gym membership……………………………………….. £500
  5. Trip to London to meet the team………………. £100
  6. Newport Half Marathon………………………………. £36
  7. Severn Bridge 10K……………………………………….. £30
  8. Laminator for posters………………………………….. £25
  9. Physiotherapy……………………………………………….. £60
  10. Marathon day (fuel/hotel/meals etc.)…………  £300
  11. Running club membership…………………………… £35

This comes to just over £1,500. Other incidentals would bump the total up further. In theory, I could have done absolutely no training and given £1,500 directly to The Brain and Spine Foundation instead. Wouldn’t that have been much easier? Well, yes, I suppose in some respects it would have been. But had I not been investing so much time into the marathon, I guess I would have certainly spent money on other things that would have offset the total figure. Besides, it has been a fantastic adventure so far, an invaluable learning experience and a very worthwhile motivation for getting fit as I approach the age of 59. I’ve also been able to highlight on social media the great work done by The Brain and Spine Foundation, and hopefully motivated one or two people to take up running themselves.

To suggest that I could have stayed in bed and just handed over the money instead is just a flippant remark that has done nothing more than prompt me to satisfy my curiosity regarding the cost of my preparations so far. It’s just a paper exercise for the sake of a paper exercise. The truth of the matter is that the whole experience so far has been worth every pound, despite the pain and the injuries. It will all be worth it in the end.

Given that I have put so much time, effort and money into this, I’d really appreciate any donations to my JustGiving page for The Brain and Spine Foundation. You can do it, of course, whilst staying in bed.

Here is the link:

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/markdpritchard