Marathons are not for the faint hearted. Apart from the strength, preparations and good health you need to participate in one, you need to have a very strong motivation.
Many professional athletes run the marathon for the money – the Kenyans, Ethiopians, Ugandans, and other East Africans go around the world using their natural physique and environmental development to run and win thousands of dollars all year round. Some runners use marathons to raise funds or awareness for some causes like cancers, Down’s Syndrome, Visual or Hearing Impairment,
Wars, Human Right and The Environment. For this group, it is basically a charity thing and a chance to give back. Others try to draw attention to disabilities or even showcase their countries and show their flags so as to help change attitudes and encourage people to support others who are in need. Many of such marathoners do theirs in the wheelchair and you can always see the zeal in their faces.
So it is usually a dream come true when you start and finish a marathon, especially when you are not a professional marathoner, like the Kenyans or Ethiopians.
My friend, Sam Chidoka, has his hands full as an investment banking and financial expert, which sees him currently as Managing Director & CEO of Kairos Limited, with over 20 years’ experience in Banking, Debt and Equity Capital Markets, Mergers & Acquisitions and Financial Advisory Services. His career has taken him through the Capital Markets Group of NAL Bank Plc, now Sterling Bank Plc and UBA Capital Plc. He features regularly on Nigerian and international Television stations dissecting financial and fiscal policies but he has a passion for running and has been a regular in the annual Lagos City Marathon. It was not a surprise when he announced that he was going to do a Major!
Many of us could not wait for Sam to participate in London because to do a major would be the fulfillment of a dream and a step to achieving others.
How did it go Sam, last Sunday 2nd October 2022? Let’s follow his story:
Sam Chidoka & London Marathon 2022 – Mission Accomplished
So yesterday I took part in the 2022 London Marathon. It was my 11th marathon but my first major marathon (there are six major marathons in the world, London, Chicago, New York, Boston, Berlin and Tokyo).
A marathon is 42.195kilometers or 26.2miles long. I started long distance running about seven years ago from the influence of my elder brother Osita Chidoka and my friend Seun Keji, that invited me to join LereRuns. A running club in Lagos.
The London marathon was exceptional, the atmosphere was super electric and the organization was top-notch even with over 50,000 runners! I really enjoyed the run and camaraderie of the supporters who were chanting, drumming and cheering us on from start to finish. People converted their balconies to DJ stands, played music and encouraged the runners. Many music bands set up along the course and played from rock music to classical music to church hymnals. I had never seen anything like the enthusiasm and boisterous support like I did yesterday. This was very different from the Lagos experience where some of the spectators will be like “The Kenyans have finished and you are still here? You better enter okada”
A marathon and long distance running teaches many things, I’ll just mention a few below:
- Preparation: if you don’t train, you cannot run and finish a marathon, simple! Same with everything in life. The place of preparation is the place of performance.
- Pace: During a marathon, you have to run your own race at your own pace, any attempt to run another person’s race or pace will either lead to a crash or a slow run. Life is a race and everyone has their own track and pace, face your work and don’t compete with anyone!
- Endurance: To run 42kms you need a lot of endurance and you get it by training. At 30kms your body starts to work against you but the built up stamina amassed during training, will push you through to the end. In life, difficulties and challenges will come but if you endure, you will surely win.
- Mental strength: A marathon is as mental as it is physical. It takes mental strength to push through the pain barrier and finish the race regardless of your state of preparedness. Such is life, you need mental strength to carry on through the vagaries of human existence.
- Recovery: After 42kms of running, your body is broken, muscles ache, joints quake and limbs are numb. You need to give your body time to recover and rejuvenate. We all need to take time off to recover, renew and refresh. That way you have the strength to face life’s challenges from a position of physical, mental and spiritual strength and freshness.
In running the London Marathon I had massive support from family. My ever present wingman Gladys Chidoka, was on hand and my fabulous cousins, Angela Ebele Chukwujekwu, Iffy Chukwu and Adora Igbokwe Chukwujekwu went over and beyond the ordinary to cheer me on through the marathon and meet me at the end of the race. God bless you all more than you have ever prayed for!
I recommend everyone finds what makes them happy, healthy and allows for renewing of our mind. Mine is marathons, what is yours?
BSC – 2022
IMAGE CREDIT: Sam Chidoka