From DNF to Six Star hopeful: West Norfolk runner on a marathon mission

From DNF to Six Star hopeful: West Norfolk runner on a marathon mission
David has ran the Tokyo, Boston and London marathons already this year. Photo credit: David Blackmore

A West Norfolk runner is halfway through a quest to complete all six world marathon majors.

Over a six week period, David Blackmore has ran marathons in Tokyo, Boston and London, the latter two being within six days of each other.

This means the King's Lynn resident has just the Berlin, Chicago and New York marathons to complete to realise his goal of crossing the finish line of the six biggest major marathons in the world. David hopes to run these remaining marathons later this year.

David achieved a personal best time at Tokyo, crossing the finish line in 3:42 before clocking 3:52 in challenging conditions in Boston and 3:43 in London.

Runners who complete all six major marathons are awarded a Six Star Medal, which was introduced by the Abbott World Marathon Majors in 2016 and is included in Abbott's Hall of Fame.

David, who is 37 years old, has now completed eight marathons since April 2022 after also taking part in marathons in Brighton, Vienna, Atlanta, and Edinburgh in the past two years.

Despite being a strong runner, the TV journalist's marathon running journey didn't get off to the best start. In October 2021, whilst attempting his first marathon, David collapsed with heat stroke just before the 25-mile marker of the London Marathon and had to be retrieved from the course and treated by volunteers from St John Ambulance.

Reflecting on completing his second London Marathon, just a few days after the Boston Marathon, David said: "I really enjoyed this year's London Marathon. Last year, I felt like I didn't really soak up in the atmosphere. I was driven and focused to get my revenge and cross that finish line.

"I felt like I had tunnel vision throughout the route so this year I enjoyed the event a bit more, really soaked up the atmosphere and ran with a smile on my face as opposed to the determined look I had on my face last year.

"It obviously wasn't ideal to have the Boston Marathon so close to the London Marathon and I really wasn't sure how my body would react so my thought process at the start was more about surviving but in the end, I was thriving and I was only 82 seconds away from clocking a better time than Tokyo."

WEB David Blackmore 1 David completed the Boston Marathon just six days before he ran the London Marathon. Photo credit: David Blackmore

As for David's advice to other runners who have experienced setbacks with marathons, whether that’s a DNF (Did Not Finish) or injuries during training, he continued: "Take time to heal, physically and mentally, and get ready to attack the next one.

"What really helped me after my DNF was to do something that distracted me from dwelling on negative thoughts in the days immediately after. Also, whilst my first instinct was to hide the DNF from everyone, it showed how supportive the running community is. Strangers from countries all over the world reached out to see if I was OK, and I reached out to others for advice on how to deal with the DNF.

"I was feeling vulnerable but they immediately built me back up and gave me the words of running wisdom that I needed to hear. They made me see that failing is not a bad word. It gives us an opportunity to get stronger, get more focused and a chance to be humbled.

"As for injuries during training, I know it is incredibly frustrating when we can't do what we want to do but it's our bodies telling us things that we really should listen to."

In addition to the full marathons, David has crossed finish lines at several big half marathons including the London Landmarks, Big Half, Great North Run, Cambridge Half and Atlanta Thanksgiving half.

"I love running because it’s simple; put on shoes and go," David continued. "Running is a great way to test my personal limits and I enjoy finding ways to challenge myself.

"And who doesn't like how running makes us free? Running on a single track without a care in the world. It doesn't matter what pace you're running, it's just you, a pair of running shoes and nature.

"For me, running is a form of moving meditation. It's my time to really get away from it all and be with my thoughts. Running is physically exhausting but mentally and emotionally recharging. There's nothing else quite like it, it's my sanity."

David has previously completed the 435-mile Lap of Anglia in August 2022 and has now switched from running to cycling to take part in the 100-mile Ride London in May.

He's also previously completed a 2,280-mile virtual challenge to run the length of the USA's famous Route 66. It took David 363 days in 2022 to cover the distance from Chicago on the east coast to Santa Monica in California along the west coast.

The Route 66 challenge came after David completed a similar challenge in 2021 to run the equivalent distance of Land's End to John O'Groats which ended when he crossed the finish line of the Grand East Anglia Run in King’s Lynn in August 2021.

Since David started documenting his running journey in October 2021, he has clocked up tens of millions of views on Instagram and TikTok. You can follow David by searching for @DavidBlackm0re on Twitter, TikTok and Instagram.

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