The London Marathon may look a little different this year, but it’s still going ahead on Sunday 4th October, with runners all over the UK taking part in a virtual race for the event’s 40th birthday.
Over 45,000 runners are predicted to be taking on the challenge, which takes place virtually this year due to the ongoing pandemic. This virtual event gives participants 23 hours 59 minutes and 59 seconds to complete 26.2 miles anywhere in the UK.
Meanwhile, the Elite and wheelchair races will still take place in London, with the athletes descending upon a secure biosphere in St James’s Square to run loops of a closed course.
In celebration of the London Marathon's 40th birthday, we have Spencer Mogridge's story from the 2015 Marathon:
3rd Time Lucky
After three attempts I managed to achieve something incredible by my own standards, a 'sub-3 hour marathon' at London 2015.
After coming close on the previous two attempts (3.13.37 2013 / 3.13.19 2014) I thought 2015 had to be the year because I had trained much harder for it and was more appreciative of what a 'sub 3 marathon' demanded. I am lucky to have the backing of my wife, family and friends, my running club (Dorset Doddlers), Mr Pete Roper and not forgetting Mr Ian Pollard (Doddler Coach) who have all supported me throughout the past 3 years.
My biggest drive to run was my late sister who took her life 4 years ago - she was the one who got me into running.
I believe I did not appreciate what was involved through the whole process from the hours of training in all weather conditions, my nutrition and weight, and also my full time job as a dairy farmer. Having to get up at 3am most mornings then to put on my trainers and go for a long run was certainly a challenge!
I thought that was enough in 2014, but after a 'training evening' with the wonderful Nick Anderson I was given the kick up the backside I needed. In question time towards the end of the evening I explained that after my marathon of 3.13 I was 'upset' and continued to add that I 'deserved' a 'sub 3' with the 'amount of training I had put in' and wanted to know where it could have gone wrong for me!
Much to the delight of everybody else in the room, Nick Anderson informed me in the nicest harshness response that 'nobody deserves it! - you have to go out there earn it and work your socks off for it'. I certainly got a response from him, which I am truly grateful for because it is something that I will always remember and was probably the most inspirational chat I've had. It was the boost I needed to get my 2015 marathon training started.
Training - 'A Farmer's Life'
My training plan was devised for me by Pete Roper, taking into consideration my work load and to include my club training nights with the Doddlers. I now had a plan tailored to me with added cross training in the gym on a Friday evening and back-to-back runs at the weekends, rest days on a Monday, Tuesday speed work with club, turbo trainer Wednesday and Thursday was club night (hills) .
Working and living on the farm, with the day to day running of the farm for my mum 'who, it is safe to say is not a great admirer of my running' makes it that much harder for me to get out and try and achieve something.
Being the old fashioned type she is (an 'old school' farmers wife) she is a great believer in a good old-fashioned fried breakfast to keep the strength up for the days work ahead which, obviously, I had to oblige. But knowing my previous two marathon times I knew I had to have a target 'race weight' which was 10 stone, I had to be very careful with my diet at other times of the day.
Race Day Nutrition
During the last 10 days of my training I introduced Beet-IT Shots which I took daily, then on 'race day' I added an additional shot just before the start with one High 5 banana flavoured gel.
During the marathon I only drink water but not at every station. I've learnt in the past that too much water does not do me any favours and during training runs I never take that much on anyway.
I must say that I DO NOT enjoy gels! I personally find them messy and unpalatable. But everyone is different and I see many people on the start line with 1 for every mile. I sometimes wonder am I wrong not to have any during the race?
However, my 2015 Marathon went as good as it probably could on the day. I ran my pace exactly as I had planned - it was perfect! A GREAT DAY AT THE OFFICE!
The previous two years we stayed in a hotel which was OK, but I was never too sure what to eat for breakfast. The first year it was just a learning curve so I just went with it and tried to enjoy. The second year, unfortunately my sleep was disrupted as after getting to bed nice and early the fire alarm went of at about midnight and we all had to evacuate the building - which was not ideal the night before a marathon. So, the third year we were lucky enough to stay with some friends, which was great. A lovely pasta dish for dinner followed by a great night sleep, then up early for a packet of Quaker Porridge (which is my staple after a Morning Milking before I go for my weekend long run).
Now, I've achieved my 'Good For Age' spot, I promised Becky (my wife) I would give London a miss for a year. And am very much looking forward to London 2017.