Home Teachers' Research Research Mentoring News & Events Reviews Links



National (UK)


Anita J Mellodew April 2003.

The tension builds, the day is near
To put my backside into gear.
It seems a long, long time ago
When marathon plans were first sown.

On race day, nerves are fairly high
And the whole trip up, I ask myself why
I put myself in such an exposed place
Where I could fail to perform and lose face.

But the hard work is done and I feel fit
To dig in deep and do my small bit
For female, distance runners of UK
It is time for us to stand up and say
To men and Kenyans, "Hey! Just you look,
We can compete, you're not off the hook."

The Elite compound at the start
Nearly tears my hopes apart.
There's Paula, Tulu and the rest
I'm warming up with the World's best.

I try to leave the fenced off field
But security have formed a shield
To protect top runners who may be targets
For suicide bombers, so they dutifully guard it.

Excitement mounts as we all line up
The time has come, I can't mess up
The hooter sounds, all fear has departed
Nothing can stop me now that I've started.

So with light feet and heart, I start the course
I am drunk with happiness, no sign of remorse.
The road before me is broad and wide
There are no obstacles in my stride.

Along the way the crowds are great
They help you through, each one's a mate.
Like a true amateur, I lose my focus on task
And from the many keen spectators I ask
More attention, atmosphere and more sound
To get me across the unforgiving ground.

And in return, I can offer the supporters
Thumbs up, salutes and a smile that caught
Many hearts and made their hands clap louder
Causing my very soul feel even prouder.

Still on schedule for a good finishing time,
Alone and running well, I'm in my prime.
Then the knot inside my belly
Increases, "Please turn off your telly!"

I know that everyone can see my distress
No amount of noise will save me, I have to press
Deep into my ribs to control the stitch
I'm slowing now, "Ain't life a bitch!"

Each mile form 22 seems to last
A lifetime and a sole runner goes past.
That's one place lost, how many more?
My head spins and I don't want to keep score.

I get the feeling I might pass out
At 24 miles, the finish is in doubt.
"Push on" it hurts, but that's not all
Feet burning hot, I can no longer run tall.

At last the final 800 metres to go
Elite men race past I'm nearly there I know.
Still smiling I cross the finish line
Disappointed with the lousy time
But pleased to have been a part
Of such a fabulous event from the start.

It is all over now and I assess
What to do next, a new challenge I guess.
For the past eight years my pursuit has been
To run faster marathons; A Destroying Dream!
So, what has the general outcome been?
Lost friends, marriage and self-esteem.

Fatigue, anxiety, depression and pain
Long runs through wind, snow and rain
Have all been towards this final goal
To achieve my best and resign my role
Of marathon runner and not much more.
Yes, I had become a running bore.

My club-mates and family are all so good
They know what to say to improve my mood.
No more marathons, or so I declare,
At least not for now, but Paula beware!


This link takes you to Anita's reflective account of her experience in running the Marathon



Site owner contact details

Click here to join the

Discussion Group