[Photo: Julian Mason]
It’s the London Marathon this Sunday April 26. Whether it’s your first time participating or you’re a veteran competitor, here are Guy Parsons’ tips for making your race go off without a hitch – or a stitch!
1) Running is energy-intensive, and it’s critical to give your body the fuel it needs, so load up on carbs and alcohol the night before. There are 1,536 calories in a 700ml bottle of Jack Daniels, for example, enough to power you for almost two hours of running at a four-hour marathon pace!
2) Stick to your usual equipment. Race day is not the time to break in a brand new pair of running shoes. But it’s a great time to break in a new horse. Horses love marathons! 26.2 miles? That’s ‘neigh’ problem! Ho ho!
3) Do you remember the old saying ‘it’s a marathon, not a sprint’? Not everybody does! If you see anyone running too fast, start screaming at them, ‘HEY, PAL! IT’S NOT A SPRINT! STOP SPRINTING! WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU? I WILL CUT YOU TO DUST!’ They’ll be sure to thank you for the reminder to ease up a little.
4) Your body loses water and salt through perspiration. Replenish yourself with an electrolyte sports drink such as Lucozade, or better yet, by licking the precious, mineral-rich sweat off another competitor. Just don’t forget to let them lick you back! A classic bit of marathon camaraderie.
5) The liberal use of Vaseline is a popular way to prevent chafing, but if you choose to partake in the traditional halfway-point sex party, (where all inhibitions are abandoned within an enormous writhing heap of supple athletic flesh and the events transpiring are never again spoken of) switch to a condom-friendly water-based lubricant instead. Safety first!
[Photo: Pete Sheffield]
6) Every time you overtake someone, it’s considered good form to do that ‘engine changing gear’ noise. ‘Neowwwwwwwwwwwwwwng….VRRRRrrrrrrrmrrrgh!’ LOL, right?!
7) Pace yourself – you should be able to hold a conversation fairly easily while running. Alternatively, try repeating out loud to yourself: ‘If I finish this race, someone will love me, when I finish this race, somebody must love me’ over and over again.
8) Are you running a marathon for charity? Great! They might just be liable for any injuries you pick up during the race, if you catch my drift. Check the small print, and one twisted ankle later… well, let’s just say this time next year, it could be stroke victims raising money for YOU!
9) Absorb some extra motivation from the watching crowds. For instance, try loudly telling the burliest bloke you can see to go eat a bag of dicks, and then keep on running as fast as you can!
10) Costume ideas! Adopting a fun outfit – such as Mighty Hunk O’ Stone, Señor Concrete, or Ball & Chain Gal – can help you stand out from the crowd.
11) Or more pragmatically, go for something lightweight, like Naked Dude, or with a hidden practical advantage, like Rollerbladin’ Rachel or Curious Chris (Who Loves To Travel By Bicycle).
12) For some extra propulsion, nothing beats beans! Each expulsive release of rectal flatus can improve your pace by 2 percent. That’s physics, baby!
13) (Or perhaps this should be tip number two, eh?) If you get caught short, Paula Radcliffe-style, it’s customary to place a pound coin atop your poopy deposit, as a tip for the poor sod tasked with cleaning it up.
14) Have a playlist of ‘pick me up’ anthems ready when you need a little extra power. Ideas: 1) Eye of the Tiger, 2) Chariots of Fire, 3) all those voicemails your boyfriend left you apologising for not being home that night because he was pulling an all-nighter on the Vicks account. Because he wasn’t working on the Vicks account, was he? He was working on that slut STEPHANIE. See, that extra shot of adrenaline has got you super-pumped. You go girl!
[Photo: Pete Sheffield]
15) Instagram a #selfie every 100m as a little reward for your progress. That’ll teach those people you call ‘friends’ to ignore your JustGiving page! IGiveAndGiveAndWhatDoIGetInReturnNothingNotAGoddamnThing, more like. Amirite?
16) Promise to buy yourself a copy of hit 1999 single ‘Runaway’ on CD if you complete the marathon successfully. When people ask you why you’re participating, you can tell them, ‘ah, well it’s all for a good Corrs!’ Spend the entire race anticipating this moment.
17) If you get a stitch and need to get your breath back, someone else will probably give you a piggyback. Simply drop to the floor and start wailing ‘I need my Marathon Mummy!’ until someone takes pity on you.
18) At the end of the marathon, try and find the winner to congratulate him or her. Just start asking everyone you meet, ‘have you won the race?’ until you find the champion (and if you can’t find ’em, maybe it’s you!).
19) Tell people at parties for the rest of your life about the time you ran a marathon. It’ll literally never get old!