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From 5K to marathon champ

November 20th, 2016

GFR Club Secretary, Andy Monk, went from couch to 5K to full marathon in just 18-months. Here he explains how he managed it…

In October, Glasgow Frontrunners had a trip to Munich where we took part in the various running events going on there. This was part of our annual international trip and I was insane enough to go for the marathon option!

It was my first marathon, so I was pretty nervous about the training and the run itself. For me, it was a tremendous journey from starting GFR during our Couch to 5k programme, through to completing a full marathon.

I had the fortune of training with some very fine gentlemen who kept me going. I think that is one of the things I love most about GFR – taking part in the training programmes whilst enjoying the great company!

The run itself was mixed for me – I found I hit ‘the wall’ around 32km and had to alternate hobbling and running for the rest of the way. Something I hadn’t really experienced in the training runs was a mental battle to keep going – but it was all worth it to cross that finish line! Others can vouch for the fact I was very emotional at the end…

I was also really happy to raise over £700 for Julia’s House, a children’s hospice based in Dorset, who do some amazing work.

The course was very flat and so this is a nice option for anyone thinking of trying a marathon out for the first time. The route takes you from the Olympic Park through the English Garden and the centre of Munich, before finishing back at the Olympic Park. This made for a stunning finish line, as you ran into the stadium to finish!


I wanted to highlight a few fantastic achievements amongst the group who went to Munich – first, Mike Wilkie, who has raised over £2000 for Duchenne UK for this run, second – Chris Kelly, for beating his marathon PB, and third – Graeme Mckay who not only completed his marathon in a great time, but has done this after only starting running relatively recently. I feel bad for not mentioning everyone, but I would be here all afternoon! Well done to everyone!


I guess I should finish by answering the question I’ve been asked so many times since – “Would you do it again?”. The answer is most definitely yes!