Not only is tomorrow World Poetry Day but it also marks over halfway through our Marathon in March challenge which I am currently doing. Both poetry and challenge events are big passions of mine.  Whilst on the face of it they might not have much in common, I enjoy them for similar reasons. In my spare time I like to write and read poetry, and over the years I have completed numerous marathons and half marathons and am loving being able to spread the miles out over the whole of March as I take on this great challenge for a fantastic charity. Both activities for me provide a release and a way of escapism from the day to day grind. Poetry is a wonderfully expressive way to convey feelings, anger, thoughts and free speech.  Training for a physical event such as a marathon –  putting in the miles and seeing the finish line –  is a fantastic way of using pent up energy that comes from spending days sitting behind a desk.

I also know that both can be off putting to people who say they don’t understand poetry or don’t know how to write it, and the thought of running 26.2 miles is as daunting for some people as flapping your arms and trying to fly to the moon. But I think that actually everyone can write poetry and I do believe that everyone has a marathon in them. All you have to do is either put pen to paper and start writing or put one foot in front of the other and keep going no matter how much the words might not make sense or how slow the marathon time might be. Not everything has to be about creating a masterpiece or standing on top of a podium with a personal best. The feeling of completing something, knowing you have pushed yourself, and given it your best is itself worthy of celebration. So go on, today, either try and write or read some poetry or put your trainers on and take yourself for a jog around the block. And in celebration of World Poetry Day tomorrow here is a poem I’ve written about the Marathon in March challenge.

The Marathon in You.

Two legs
One leg
No legs
Four wheels
On your own
In a pair
Part of a team
No matter how you get from A to B
There’s a marathon in you
Chewing on jelly beans
Running on blisters
The finish line and a tin foil blanket
Or the ultimate endurance event
A marathon in a month
One mile
One day
Another mile
Another day
Repeat for a month
A personal best
Or plenty of rest
Whichever you choose
There’s a marathon in you


Stephen Lightbown

Director of Communications