I make no apologies for this blog being an entirely personal piece, I ran the Liverpool Marathon on Sunday, and I found it a cathartic (if painful!) experience.
After the last week of almost incessant bad news following the atrocity in Manchester, I had begun to lose faith in the type of society my children were having to make their way into as they start out on their own lives. However, on Sunday, 20000 people got off their backsides and ran around Liverpool for a variety of reasons (some to raise money for charity, some for the personal challenge, and some (believe it or not!) as part of their Hen and Stag nights!.
Now, marathons are generally a fairly uplifting experience; but this one had an extra special feel about it. From the perfectly observed minute’s silence that literally made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up, to the strength of support from members of the public as we dragged ourselves around 26.2 miles, this particular marathon had a unique feel to it. I can genuinely say that this was a marathon I was going to get around even if I’d have to finish it on one leg. Not for me, but for the thousands of people who had literally stuck two fingers up to those who would try to leave us living in fear.
As I crossed the finish line, rather than just funnel off to collect my medal and the various freebies that you get after finishing; I hung around the finish line for a few minutes to support the other runners coming in, and to take in the atmosphere of celebration, defiance and fun. It was an uplifting experience and went a long way to restoring my faith that the overwhelming majority of people are genuine souls who are there for each other and their communities. We should never forget this, nor should we allow the events of the past few days cloud our opinion of our communities as a whole.
Keep doing what you’re doing, make sure your kids have the same unbridled hopes and ambitions that you had as a youngster; and be safe in the knowledge that the overwhelming majority of our society want them to succeed as much as you do.