How to enjoy the Virgin Money London Marathon experience, with Danny Bent
Danny Bent is an experienced marathoner, award-winning author and journalist and Fuller's London Pride running ambassador – he was also voted one of the 100 happiest people in the UK, so knows a thing or two about staying positive and making the most of your Virgin Money London Marathon experience. We talk to him about what he enjoys most about running, how his family inspires him to keep going, and the importance of having a treat to look forward to at the end of your 26.2 miles.
When did your London Marathon journey begin?
I first ran the London Marathon almost 20 years ago when I was a feisty 21-year-old just to see what I could do. That was lovely. You never forget your first London Marathon. There’s nothing like the feeling you get coming up The Mall to the Finish Line. It’s a massively emotional, positive thing.
Which London Marathon did you enjoy the most and why?
My most memorable marathon was when I did it with my parents and two sisters in 2003. Running has always been something I share with my family – when I was two I was running up and down the road we used to live on, holding my mum’s hand as my dad was doing hill reps.
My family are my best mates and a massive part of that is going for a run together when we meet up, which we still do now even though my dad is in his seventies and my mum in her sixties. Rather than sitting around the TV in silence, we’re laughing and joking as we compare cuts on our legs where we’ve had to run through brambles or we’ve fallen over.
What made that Marathon Day so enjoyable?
I actually had an absolute nightmare during the run – in fact, my mum ended up beating me by a few minutes, passing me with one mile to go. I made the classic mistake of setting off too fast and by Mile 8 my calves were indented with cramp. At any other time I probably would have pulled out, but how many other family groups like ours were running the marathon that day? Probably none, so I had to make it round as there was no way I could let everyone down.
Despite that it was an experience that will never be beaten, ever – although I am talking to London Pride about us all running together again this year!
How did you get involved with London Pride?
I’d been on a night out with friends and had tagged London Pride in my social media posts because we’d been drinking their beer. The next morning I got a message from them asking if I’d be interested in running the Virgin Money London Marathon as London Pride ambassador. What an amazing opportunity! I have a half-decent social media following so they could see I really love running, but I also really love life and having a beer with my mates.