• Lotte Wubben-moy

Lessons From The London Marathon by Sara Hall: Hug The Bends - Sprint The End

These are the margins of victory - these are the little things

I managed to catch a bit of the London Marathon on TV yesterday. 

It brought me back to my childhood years when the family and I would walk 10 minutes from our house to a spot where we could get a good view of the runners. We would bring whistles, our loudest voices, and join other supporters to cheer on thousands of men and women doing one of the most commendable things in life. 

This year though, the race looked very different. My vocal cords were saved.

But the runner's legs weren't. The marathon was virtual - for the amateur runners - they had to run the 26.2 miles alone on their courses, in their own time (what relentless commitment. I take my hat off to those individuals).

The professional race also looked different - though not the same DIY one ran by the amateurs - it was a 19 lap course, with a start and finish line on the doorstep of Buckingham Palace in London. What a stage.

There are events in our lives that are like marathons. As daunting and monumental. Similarly to this year's London marathon, these marathons have taken on a new form due to COVID. But with that being said, it hasn't taken any miles off the clock. 

Same marathon, same challenges. 

We all get through these trials of life differently. 

But one thing we can all do is use the little things, to make it that much easier. 

Hugging the bend is a little thing, that can have a not so little impact.

I love how Sara Hall, a professional American marathon runner, overcame the challenges she set out; thanks to her acknowledgment of the power of the little things. 


18 laps in, the podium looked set. Sara Hall was in 3rd place. 

Having dropped out of her past two marathons, Sara Hall is an individual who had battled through many trials before arriving on the 4th of October 2020 to run the London Marathon. 

But oh boy, did that not stop her. She refused to see her big failures. Instead, she looked for the little things, and saw how they could help her:

Hall, for the whole race, hugged the bends, a bit like a Formula 1 car; she took the most efficient route; she took into account the little things; she meticulously set out her route as if it was a mountain trek with miles of leeway, but this was just a London road; she looked at this course noticing where her potential was to make marginal gains - and gained where she could.

But people won't remember this.

All they will remember is the monumental effort she exerted in the final 400m of the race - that actually brought a tear to my eye - to overtake the world champion who was ahead of her. ( https://twitter.com/lindsaycrouse/status/1312762997392191490 ) 

Hall showed a remarkable presentation of attention to the details - that really, without - would never have put her in the position to have the chance for a finish line sprint: a display of remarkable presentation of grit, digging deep, and never saying quit.

Made possible with the little things. 

Having attention to detail - hugging the bends - is a little thing, that can help us get the most out of the marathons in our life. 

Regardless of past failures, or future challenges, if we can make up time on the bends, surely we will have saved energy and acquired the confidence for the final sprint. 

Hugging the bend is a little thing that can have a not so little impact.

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