The Marathon Prayer by Tony Audenshaw

Posted: April 15, 2012 in Random

I’m a big fan of the fantastic weekly Marathon Talk podcast hosted by Tom Williams and Martin Yelling of UK. In their latest, Episode 118, Tony Audenshaw recited a marathon prayer in his segment, Tony’s Trials. It was simply right on point. In Tagalog slang, swak na swak, or as a friend would put it, pasok sa banga.

I was looking for the complete text online but I couldn’t find it, so I took the liberty of transcribing the whole “prayer”. It had me laughing my socks off and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. Kudos to Tony for making such a brilliant piece. 😉

Please join me in the marathon prayer.

May the taper not have left you feeling fat and lethargic, and the sniffles and niggles not develop into illness or injury. On marathon eve, may your friends and family not text you good luck messages after 9pm.

If staying in a hotel, may it be clear of stag and hen parties, and may your room be some distance from any noisy airconditioning units, nightclubs, or someone who has just be let out of prison, or returned from active service, and on that night been reunited with their loving partner.

If perchance you do sleep, may you dream of forgetting your number or race kit, or of not being able to find the start of the race, or oversleeping and missing it completely, in order that on the day itself, you will wake up, remember your number and race kit, and find your way to the start on time.

May you eat breakfast familiar to your digestive system. May your transport be on time and free from catastrophic mechanical malfunction. May the portaloos have few people queuing outside, and plentiful toilet tissue inside.

May your GPS unit and heart rate monitor be fully charged, and may it find sattelites immediately and link seamlessly with your chest strap… and not someone else’s.

May you not be held back by runners slower than you starting too far forward and, in turn, may you not spoil the race for others. May you not set off too fast, and remember that if you feel you are running too slow, you are still running too fast.

Let the weather be 11-degree Centigrade during the race, with a light flowing breeze, and perhaps a hint of drizzle in the last 6 miles. And then, after the race, may the clouds disperse and reveal 20-degree sunshine.

May your timing chip remain attached, your shoes laces stay tied, and may you avoid tripping over discarded water bottles or slipping on gel sachets.

May you not suffer a visit from the Gingerbread Man, or run directly behind someone who is.

May you not be impeded by idiots wearing personal headphones, passed by runners in fancy dress, athletes over the age of 80, your clubmates, your partner, or anyone off the telly.

May you see your supporters on the course, and may your supporters see you. And then, when the race is over, may they meet you at a prearranged location, and not change their plans and leave you thirsty, ravenous, and shivering as they struggle with the overloaded mobile phone network.

May your nipples and sensitive areas be free from chaffing, and in the final few miles, may you avoid hitting the wall, resist adopting a run-walk strategy, and find the strength to f@#% up your legs. And on crossing the line, may you wipe the phlegm from your cheeks and the crystalized salt from around your mouth, and find the energy to smile for the cameras.

And then, whatever your time or your achievement, be it a personal best or absolute unmitigated disaster, remember that your loved ones have tolerated your persistent absence, your challenging moods, and narcoleptic tendencies for months on end, so wear your medal or t-shirt with pride.

Celebrate being one of the 0.1% of the population who have trained for and completed a 26.2-mile race, and enjoy a few days of being treated like the hero you are, walking like a cowboy with hemorrhoids, and not having to run a step.


To listen to the prayer being read by Tony himself, click here or here. Go on, give it a listen!

[Apr15 5am update: Argh, just found the official complete text!]

  1. i’m totally gonna steal this, just so you know.

    i love your blog, and get excited when i see a post pop up. thanks.

    • scout says:

      go ahead. not mine anyway, and i’m sure other runners would appreciate. 😉

      you should try to listen to the Marathon Talk podcast. i’ve been learning lots of training tips from it and the hosts are very likable. 🙂

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