Thieves like us – the unsung heroes of the Maraselfish

Thanks to everyone for their support over the last few months of marathon training. I am very pleased to have done an extra article in conjunction with run 4 it which can be found here and is all about my Maranoia. If you like it? Let them know. 

So it’s the weekend before London. Last small but long run tomorrow then it’s bubble wrap time. Had another work and niggle interrupted week but it included a nice run through the dark streets of Chester, a short segment chasing run, a brutal sports massage and a couple of jogs. And a big biscuit.


Nothing exciting to report in the running, but plenty of time to reflect on the London build up, and see us? We are thieves.

Now don’t shout at the screen and storm off. I don’t mean kleptos like that time Richard Madeley apparently stole a bottle of wine. But in some ways we are worse. Aye you Mark Gallacher. And the others like you. Marathon trainers (I’m not a marathon runner yet, that, fingers crossed, will come next week. Did I tell you I’m doing London?). “And how so?” those of you that are left will ask.  Because over the last few months I’ve been so self absorbed and maraselfish. And I don’t mean to do it, like I am sure you don’t either. But we are.  From the start we have our plans to follow. We will try and fit it in with our work which of course gets hectic as well. And do our best to do it. Working 5-7 days a week, training 5 or 6. And what ends up slipping to the bottom at times? The thing you hold most dear, family. The kids. The wife. Others. In your head it’s as important to them as it is to you.

Oh it’s not.

Novelty wears off. Dirty washing builds up. Like every day. Dirty sweaty running gear. And you need more. And shoes. Need shoes. And a flip belt that you’ll lose. And gels. Pants! Sweatbands! Chocolate milk! Nipple cream! Compeed! Energy drinks! And every morning if working you are up early. Sometimes even earlier for spin class and running. And at the weekend it’s long runs so up really early. And not having a drink since New Year. Aye funguy Marko. And you end up eating outwith the others time as you need to do your midweek long before dinner. It is rightly a big thing. And it needs to be given the respect it needs. But I am guilty. I am a marathon bore. I am a thief. I have stolen time from my family. I have went over the score and quite simply I couldn’t do it without them. My rocks. My inspirations. Picking me up when it goes wrong. Putting up with my quirks, my rituals, my maraselfishness. And not always quietly because I deserve to be taken down a peg or two every now and then. So next week in London when I hopefully cross that finish line they will be there. My unsung heroes. Elaine, Louis and Jon.


My support team who give me everything and ask for nothing. And I owe so much to them and don’t always tell them or show them. And I am sure many of you are the same. Today/ tonight/ whenever, just give them a wee thank you and let them know you appreciate it, because we are a bunch of maraselfish thieves and I am the worst of the lot. If I ever choose this marapath again lessons are learned. So to all of you unsung heroes behind every one of us who chase our running dreams, be it couch to 5k, a marathon, an ultra, I say a big THANK YOU. And just know, we don’t always say it but we do think it. I accept it. I am Mark Gallacher, and I am a thief. Hopefully after next week I can start to give back.


Good luck to all of you doing London, and to all of you who will be at the Running Awards on Thursday. I am thankful, grateful that the opportunity to run London and my first nomination for blog of the year aligned so I could go to both. I will make sure I go to both with a smile on my face.


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