At the start of the year, I spent over two months training for Brighton marathon. I’d worked hard, followed my plan and was enjoying the training. I was also excited about going to Brighton, a place I’ve only been to a couple of times before. It was to be my husband’s first marathon and he had worked hard for it too.
But, just over a month before the race and just after my first 18 mile training run, we all know what happened. Brighton marathon was cancelled, along with everything else, due to coronavirus.
Well, technically it was postponed until 20th September. After a bit of thought, we decided not to run it in September. There was the uncertainty over whether it would actually go ahead in September anyway. And I didn’t really fancy the idea of training over summer and it clashed with my local favourite – Cheltenham half marathon. Ironically, Cheltenham was called off a long time ago, but remarkably Brighton still hasn’t been cancelled.
So we thought we would just run it next April. But we made a rookie error. We forgot to book accommodation.
By the time we tried to book it a couple of weeks ago, we were looking at £250-300 for a room. We considered booking a town further out, but that would obviously give us additional stress on the morning. The whole thing was starting to weigh heavily on me. I really wanted to run it, but £250 for a hotel room is just too much.
I talked to another marathon runner on social media, who told me that’s exactly why she only does local marathons. She lives in the North West and there are more local marathons to choose from – Manchester, Liverpool and Chester. There are surprisingly few marathons close to us in Gloucestershire. There is nothing in the county and nothing in Bristol. But it got me thinking.
And it led me back to Newport.
I ran Newport marathon last year. It was my first marathon. Newport is just over an hour’s drive away, so there’s no need to worry about hotel rooms. There isn’t even a worry about whether my husband will be able to drive us home after running a marathon. (We would definitely have had to get a train or a lift back from Brighton.)
Newport isn’t the most scenic marathon and it doesn’t have the big crowds, but it’s nice enough. And a marathon is still a marathon, regardless of where you run it.
Ironically, the main reason my husband didn’t run it with me last year was because he wanted to run somewhere scenic and exciting. He had always wanted to run Brighton.
But we’ve booked Newport marathon 2021 for both of us. As soon as I did it, I felt very excited. I also felt like a great weight had been lifted from my shoulders. It might be a bit ‘boring’ to run the same race again, but I am fine with that.
Newport marathon 2021 is the right decision for us. Maybe we will try for Brighton another year, but just not yet.