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Barcelona Marathon Journey in support of St Joseph's Hospice

In 2005, I set out to break the 3-hour barrier in the London Marathon. However, that endeavour ended in exhaustion and disappointment as I dropped out at mile 21. Fast forward to 2023, and I found myself presented with the opportunity to run the Barcelona Marathon for a cause close to my heart – St Joseph's Hospice. What followed was a remarkable journey of perseverance, unexpected challenges, and the sweet taste of redemption.

A Long-Awaited Return:

For 19 years, the haunting memory of my failed attempt lingered. Life's commitments, including work, family, and coaching my son's football team, often took precedence, making it difficult to pursue another marathon. Yet, when the chance to run in Barcelona arose, the timing felt right, and I embraced the challenge.

The Rocky Road to Barcelona:

Training for the Barcelona Marathon didn't unfold as smoothly as planned. Numerous obstacles threatened to derail my journey, and at times, the thought of pulling out crossed my mind. Nevertheless, I pressed on, determined to conquer the demons of the past and make the most of this second chance.

Race Day: A Rollercoaster of Emotions:

The race day arrived, and at 18 miles, everything seemed to be falling into place. I was on track for an exceptional time, feeling surprisingly comfortable. Then, out of nowhere, my left hip locked up. The next 8 miles became a test of endurance, willpower and agony, complete with a detour to a pharmacy for some much-needed relief. (Which was surprisingly very hard to find on a Sunday in Barcelona on Marathon day.)

Barcelona: A Beautiful Backdrop:

Despite the physical challenges, the Barcelona Marathon provided a stunning backdrop. The city's vibrant atmosphere and scenic routes added an extra layer of magic to the experience. Even a detour to a pharmacy couldn't dampen the spirit of this unforgettable journey.

Gratitude Overflowing:

I want to express my heartfelt gratitude to everyone who supported me – family, friends, colleagues, clients, and contacts. Your unwavering generosity and kindness fuelled my determination, especially during moments when injury whispered for me to stop. Together, we've made a difference for St Joseph's Hospice, contributing much-needed funds to a worthy cause.

A Special Thanks to Claire:

A monumental thank you goes to my wife, Claire, who selflessly sacrificed her Mother's Day to cheer me on as I conquered the Barcelona streets. Her support was my driving force, and her sacrifice made the victory even sweeter.

Looking Ahead:

With Barcelona's marathon now behind me, I eagerly anticipate the next challenge on the horizon. The sense of accomplishment and the joy of giving back have ignited a newfound passion for pushing my limits. Onward to the next adventure, ready to tackle whatever lies ahead.

The Barcelona Marathon wasn't just a race; it was a journey of redemption, determination, and gratitude. Crossing that finish line, surrounded by the cheers of supporters, was a moment of pure triumph. As I reflect on this marathon experience, I am reminded that sometimes, the greatest victories come after the most challenging battles.

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