25–26 Jan 2025 197 days to go! #RunShow

Mark Brocklehurst

I came to running late – I’d always wanted to do a marathon but it was one of those things that got put back again and again. A work colleague started to run for 2 miles at lunch. I joined him and we were laughed at. Before long there were 6 of us, just enjoying the run. It was about that time the Brighton Marathon was launched and we all entered….though it was only me who actually took part on the day! Two more marathons happened (including New York) and I decided that was that. Then London 2012 came on the scene and though I wasn’t in the generation they were thinking of, I was inspired! I ran my first London Marathon in 2014 and in 2016 I ran four marathons in 7 weeks – all coming in at sub 4 hours – something I hadn’t done before and haven’t done since. As of 2021, I’ve now finished 16 marathons and have two more to come at least.

Against the backdrop of these marathons, I became more involved with the running community, especially parkrun where I went from being a Saturday runner and occasional volunteer to becoming Regional Ambassador for Hants, Sussex and some parts of Surrey.

I joined a running club, Arena 80 AC where I have gained both my Leader and Coach in Running Fitness. I’m passionate about getting people into running – I host a run club for a business, my parkrun role takes me into all areas of communities and I’ve established links and relationships with all variety of people. It literally is, “if I can do it, so can you!”

My favourite distance is half marathon and I’ve completed more of those than I can remember, but the main goal is London 2022. At Christmas 2021, I had a reaction to suffering from COVID and had blood clots on my lungs that could, and possibly should have killed me. The doctors said the running was what helped me. At the time, I couldn’t ever see me running again. Through my recovery, I’d gained a lot of weight and was so unfit. Some 4 months later, I’ve lost 18kg and parkrunning at 28 mins – something I never thought possible at the turn of the year.

London Marathon 2022 and crossing the start line will be an incredible achievement – crossing the finish line, regardless of time, will perhaps be my greatest victory.