My name is Jamie Flanagan. This year I have ran in the Rome marathon, Plymouth half marathon and will be running in the Dundee and Berlin Marathon's (as well as the Speyside way Ultra-Marathon and other half marathons), raising money for Vasculitis UK. I am a Wegener's Granulomatosis patient and am looking forward to raising money and awareness to help beat this disease. You can read more about me at my Just giving page's below:
A big thanks to everyone who has donated, you're in my thoughts during the runs!
Here is blog number 9
04/06/12 – Post Plymouth Half
Feet don't fail me now! A new mantra I have inherited from Sarah, my Plymouth half marathon partner. Certainly a much more PC version than another mantra I have been using that was stolen from Tony “Foos your legs!” Audenshaw. Sarah's mantra will be used between the miles of 0 and 25. Then “F##k your legs” will come in to play from 25 to 36.5 miles! Yes, there is another big race on the way... The Speyside way 36.5 mile Ultra Marathon, 36.5 miles unaided in the hilly, scenic, torturous, hilly, picturesque, torturous, hilly, once in a lifetime, torturous, hilly hills of the Scottish Highlands... Did I mention it is hilly and torturous?
The Plymouth half was the first time I have ever ran with anyone, even in training. Due to the electrical nature of modern hearing devices (bring back the hearing trumpet!), British weather and sweat doesn't seem to get on with them. However, Siemens are now endorsing and supporting my marathon efforts over the next year and have supplied me with top of the range (expensive!) Aquaris hearing instruments. These are water proof and will withstand all the elements I'll throw at them. Wind, rain, mud,sand, blood, sweat, tears, hilly torturous terrain... Well, Ok, they may not directly help with the torturous hills, but something has to!! I can't thank Siemens enough for their support. A big shout goes out to Sarah too being my first running partner. She was a joy to run with! She did look at me slightly funny for finishing Plymouth Barefoot though!
In my many training runs this month I've been thinking a lot about why we run (Was this me trying to convince myself to stop?!). In all seriousness, why do humans feel the need to gather in large numbers and run for 26.2 miles? 35'000 in London, 36'000 in Paris, and over 40'000 due to join me in Berlin in September! We may be the most advanced species on the planet, but this does seem genuinely insane! Also, now that we are getting better at it and more and more people are doing it, Ultra marathon running is becoming a mass participation event too! However, how many people start a race with the intention of winning? How many could ever dream of winning one? How many Olympic runners think they can win? So why do it? I myself, am so competitive that if my brother beat me at anything, I'd be so annoyed that I'd practice and practice until I knew I'd win. Hungry, Hungry hippo's was a serious event in my books!
So where am I going with all this? Well, my initial intention of running was for pure enjoyment, health and self achievement. No competitive strand attached, and I would retire from running in 2015. Well, all has changed. I want to win a race and I will not retire. Why the big change in heart? Well, just because I need to get my competitive edge back, it's what made me who I was before falling ill with Wegener's. I truly feel myself beginning to accept mediocrity, and that is just not me. Is it truly achievable? I honestly don't know, but I'm going to give it one hell of a shot. It may take more than a couple of mantra's to get me on the podium, but anything is possible. It just takes effort, determination and lots of torturous, hilly hills! Is this insane post run babbling, or a real statement of intent? Maybe a combination of both, but it is true reflection of my will to win.
Next race is Dundee Running Adventure Marathon (DRAM!) on the 26th of July. Bring it on!
P.S. Photo is myself and Sarah running in Plymouth. Guess which mile!!