Let’s just take a second to let the Commen Athletics yarn-spinners transport you to a potentially familiar scenario…
It’s been a tough day at work. You’re putting in way too many hours to meet a deadline, and to top it all off Phil didn’t empty the dishwasher even though it was his turn. Phil is a clown.
Delays on the district line on the way home tack on an extra 30 minutes to your commute, but you’re finally home. You open the door and in the familiar looking pile of flyers and letters is something new. It’s A4, it’s in a plastic sleeve, then you realise that it’s mid-October already.
This is it. The wait is over. the 4th time entering the ballot, surely you’ve got a place this year. Phil’s got a place 3 years running, and I’m sure we can all agree someone with such disregard for office dishwasher politics doesn’t deserve that much ballot success.
Yep, this is definitely your year. You pick up the magazine slowly to savour the moment, flip it over….
“Sorry. You have been unsuccessful in gaining a place in the London Marathon”
But wait. Before you plunge too far into the disappointment spiral too far, we’ve got the cure for what ails you.
There are some banging races going on across Europe at this time of year, so if you were already pumped up at the idea of the 26.2, have a look into these, you won’t regret it.
Date: 5th April 2020
Where: Bratislava, Slovakia
Why: It’s pretty small, making it a pretty low-pressure environment, also It’s super flat. And although the course in previous years has missed a trick not taking in more of the sights of the city it’s a great place to explore before the race and to recover with lots of food and drinks afterwards!
Date: End of May
Where: France, Cancale to Mont St Michel
Why: Regularly voted as one of the most beautiful marathons in the world, this point to point is the perfect antidote to the London Marathon blues. Do you really think you’ll miss running through Limehouse when you’re boshing back wine by the bottle having just run along the French coast, straight towards an architectural masterpiece?
Date: 17th May 2020
Where: Copenhagen, Denmark
Why: This is an all singing, all dancing event taking in 4 districts over the 26.2 miles. Slick organisation, on-course entertainment, and a real festival vibe. There’s a lot of great stuff to see here as well, assuming you make it past the bar next to your AirBnB (which we didn’t last time we were there).
Date: 5th April 2020
Where: Paris, France
Why: This is probably as close as you can get to the London Marathon experience (except maybe Berlin). It’s super popular, making the atmosphere incredible. Also it’s only 2 hours away on the train from Kings Cross, and in some cases cheaper to get to than literally anywhere in the UK by train. Also you’ll be in Paris, and that’s pretty cool.
Date: 19th April 2020
Where: Vienna, Austria
Why: The course is stunning, going past the Prater Ferris Wheel, Vienna State Opera, and finishing up in front of the Imperial Palace and super flat. Also it’s only an hours drive from Bratislava, so if you’ve got a mate who wants to do that one, and you want to do this, then no worries, just meet up afterwards!
There you go, the options are there. So who needs the London Marathon hey?
Until next time Folks!!