London Marathon Blog By Anita E

The London Marathon 2022. It is difficult to explain what it feels like to run the London Marathon. It is a gift and a privilege rolled into one. The place this year was a deferred place from 2020 and while training back in January 2020 I suffered a terrible slipped disc. I know what real back pain is now! I sat in front of the ‘back doctor’ after my MRI and he said he couldn’t tell me if I would ever run again. I was in despair. How could I manage without running? I was heavily dependent on it. Perhaps too much. Then Covid came and the lockdowns. The London Marathon didn’t take place that April. During those long, lonely weeks I walked and walked every day and somehow my back got better. I found peace in walking and then slowly, by the October I was running well again. It is somewhat of a miracle that I got my London medal this year. But I never gave up hope.

How important is mental health and exercise? I know you have heard this before. I Know it can be hard. However, exercise and health are a fabulous combination. 


I am not saying run a marathon. Just take a step at a time …. literally and move more.  

As Nelson Mandella said “Exercise is the key not only to physical health but to peace of mind” 

Just a couple of weeks ago myself and Laura Minas (both counsellors at Westmeria) ran the London Marathon. We raised over £2000 thanks to all your support, and we are so grateful for it. We were happy to just be there, to have made it to the start and the finish. The marathon is not just the 26.2 miles. That’s the fun end part. It’s the 100s and 100s of miles in training, often done alone that is the ultimate challenge. 

This year the race went well until 14 miles when my hip began to hurt from nowhere. From then on, every stride was a struggle, so I forced myself to run one mile at a time and then a little walk. In 2019 I finished in a better time but this year the sweetness came in the genuine hugs and support I got from family and friends. The time to take in the sights, the magnificent crowds, and the kindness of others. Not giving up when things were tough. People say I’m always smiling. I am when I run. This is true. 

It was, in the same day, the hardest and one of the greatest things I have done. If a marathon were easy, what would be the point? I am passionate about exercise being a fundamental key to better mental health. I’m not asking you to run a marathon but to change your mindset if you can. So, what is your Marathon? When you think you know, consider you don’t. When you can’t see the answer, take a break, and look where you least expect 

If you are stuck in that blackhole, maybe climbing out isn’t the answer. How about a tunnel to the side? 

When you have given up hope, that’s when something or someone new comes to you because you have space to let it in.”  


“The human body is a machine that winds up its own springs: it is a living image of the perpetual motion.” 

Julien Offray de La Mettrie 


I’m no athlete as I could not run at school or play tennis. I have no real natural ability. You don’t need to be sporty to move more and feel better. We were built to move much more than we do. We are a machine, much better than any metal one! We train and we recover. The body repairs and gets stronger each time.  

I joined a running club 7 years ago called Zero to Hero’s and started at the beginning. I couldn’t run to the next lamp post if you asked me. I have now completed 226 Park runs and I encourage you all to try this. You can walk, run, or jog.  You will make friends and feel welcome. Take a look at this article about depression and parkrun for additional information. 


Give more moving a try. From a walk to yoga. New friends and nature. Positive coping strategies for a happier life. Running has bought me time, the best friends, peace, and health. It takes my mind from my work. Reminds me of my work at the same time.  

For all the people who can’t be here and run. I will run for you. For those who struggle with anxiety and depression I do it for you too.  It relaxes me, gets me to put my tech away, allows me to think. It’s a gift.  

A marathon is whatever seems insurmountable to you.  You can do it. Step by step.  


Recent Posts