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VMLM - I'll take those odds!

by Mike Clyne
Friday 22nd April 2016
Run247 columnist and experienced marathoner Mike Clyne explains why, once you made it to the start line, you are almost certain to reach the finish.
“I’ll take those odds”
Imagine walking into a bookies and being told you can place a bet on a horse race to bet that a horse will finish the race.  You are told that your horse has a more than 99% chance of finishing – what odds do you reckon you could get?  Probably not very good odds as a gambler but now imagine you are taking an exam and you have more than 99% chance of passing.  “I’ll take those odds” would be one phrase I am sure you will hear.
If I had the chance to be at the start of the Virgin Money London Marathon on 24th April to speak to runners, I bet that there will be more than 1% of people who are nervous or will admit that they aren’t sure of their chances of finishing.  I understand the irrationality of fear and I have felt it myself but as a generation of runners we are, more than ever, analysing our stats, times and details.  Therefore my comment would be “look at the numbers, look at the stats.  There have been nearly a million people who have gone before you.”
So, if you or someone you know are running on Sunday have a look at these finisher stats:

VMLM stats

What does this tell you?
Basically, if you can get yourself to the finish line, if you have done a decent amount of training and you are fuelled, hydrated and pace yourself sensibly, then the odds are really in your favour.  Of course, it may hurt more than you thought (or maybe not); you may go slower than you thought (or not); and there may be / will be times when it is harder than you ever imagined.  But that’s the point.  They don’t give those finisher medals to just anyone.  And that’s why hundreds of thousands of spectators will scream, shout, wave, cheer, smile to encourage you along your way; that’s why thousands of volunteers will look after you from start to finish; and that’s why the Virgin Money London Marathon is the best marathon in the world in the best city in the world.  Yes I am biased and yes that is my opinion.  But you can’t argue with facts!
Have a great race.

About The Author

Mike Clyne

Mike has been writing the occasional article for Run247 for the past few years.
Since his debut marathon (Abingdon 1983) aged 16, he has now completed 34 stand-alone marathons and has completed 10 Ironman triathlons (that include a marathon at the end).  He has finished the London Marathon on 14 occasions and has also run a few times as a Runners World pacer hitting his target every time (except his 2014 DNF).  Mike is currently targeting the Comrades Marathon on 10th June and, yes, he is nervous about this!
When he isn’t plodding around these races he can also be heard on the microphone as commentator and announcer at a number of events.
You can follow him on Twitter @IronmanMike and on Instagram @Mike7Oaks

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