Two days after writing my last blog, I received an email from the Virgin London Marathon. I knew it was bad news as soon as I saw the notification. Everyone who gets a spot receives a letter, the rest of the unlucky applicants either receive a “we’re sorry” letter or an email. So the email left me in no doubt that it was a rejection.

I didn’t even get a proper letter

The email read, “Commiserations, your application to run in the 2018 Virgin Money London Marathon has been unsuccessful. A record number of 386,050 hopefuls applied to take part in next years event…” It continued on to suggest other ways I could still get a place but I already had my sights set on another race. A race in another country.

Unfortunately, that other country isn’t France. It’s Scotland.

All applicants who didn’t get a place in the London Marathon are guaranteed a spot in Edinburgh. This is a fact I’m not too sure is entirely true. If my maths is right, there will be approximately 346,050 unsuccessful runners who (apparently) are all welcome at the Edinburgh Marathon. Either this wont be the case or I’m really going to struggle to find a hotel room.

At the time of writing this, it’s Friday 6th and I’m currently sat on a cramped train, drinking a cup of watery instant coffee, listening to the couple in front of me trying to decide whether the station is pronounced “Houston” or “Ooston”. To settle the argument, it’s neither. I’ve been finding it hard as of late to get out running and having got in a total of 5 kilometres this week, has left me in a pretty bad mood.

The reason I’m sat on this rammed train to London is because I’m visiting Rachel for the first time since she moved down there and I think it would be rude not to celebrate with a couple of beers. Now, this was a long and hard decision I had to make, I’ve abstained for 36 days but the news of the craft ale pub down the road was enough to convince myself that I deserve a treat. And, like most workout plans, my proper training starts on Monday, so why not?

As of Monday morning I have a strict 33 week training plan, featuring 5 runs a week building up to 65km (40 miles) per week before tapering in preparation for the big day. This is the first time I’ve set myself this strict of a schedule so I’ll be interested to see if it works.


It’s now Sunday evening and to update the blog, I have consumed a few beers this weekend but I’m sticking to the vegan diet very strictly. Yesterday, we ate lunch at Wild Foods Cafe in Covent Garden where we had an array of vegan tapas-like dishes. For tea, we headed into Shoreditch in our attempts to find more vegan food and possibly a few cocktails. We succeeded. We came across Dinerama, by Street Feast which, we can safely say, was a success. We drank a lot and ate even more – still, all vegan (except a huge burger consumed by Rachel). 

Dinerama, Shoreditch

Sadly I’m returning home tomorrow, but this weekend has been great. A minor lapse in the non-drinking policy but I’ve not budged an inch on the new diet.

Anyway, the real graft starts next week. Expect an update about how well (or not) it’s going.

Benjamin Hackett, 8th October 2017

One thought on “Commiserations

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