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Gilles P’s Post-Marathon Blog

April 18, 2011

6.09 am // Monday 18th April 2011
Yesterday I completed London marathon in 4 hours 43 minutes and 9 seconds.
I would say that for me as a man, it’s the closest I’ll come to giving birth.
Once you pass the start line there’s no turning back – you have to complete.

I’ve been steadily running for several years now – but never more than 5 or 6 miles. It’s a good way to feel less guilty about what happens at night. I’ts also a great way to deal with jet lag.

Zinger who lives across the street is good at shaking me and it was he who got me though this. He’d done a marathon 8 years ago…and I remember him MC’ing for me at the Big Chill later that night. I was so impressed and a little envious at his endeavour – his beer seemed to taste better than mine.

I’m 47 now and have been in clubs and bars most nights since I was 16 – that’s a lot of nicotine and stuff. I love my job but needed a change. Taking 4 months off playing out has regenerated my enthusiasm for it all. I can’t wait to get into the summer gigs now…

The Worldwide Festival will be amazing this year – specially now that we got Saadiq to play on the Thursday next to Quantic, Konono No1, Rodigan, Ramadanman and Cut Chemist – how deep is that line up for starters! Then we’ve got the likes of The Pyramids, Kode 9 and Rich Medina… gonna be special.

Running the marathon has also given me greater incentive to set up a tribute to Steve Reid and his Foundation. As you may understand setting up a charity is complicated but with Ayian and Simon Goffe we hooked up a collaboration with the Musicians Benevolent Fund and if the money raised can help musicians in distress then it’s all good and Steve would be happy with that.

The aim of course is to keep Steve Reid’s spirit alive and introduce his approach to music to new generations. He was a kind of predecessor to Dilla and I’m sure they’re both united at this time. Stay in the Rhythm… that’s what I was thinking around the streets of Bermondsey…

I had a distressed knee before the run – I’d damaged my left knee ligaments after my 18 mile training run 3 weeks ago… well I’d damaged them in February training up hills in Normandy but had been patched up every week by
Keith at Balanced Body Mind… truth is without him I’d never have been ready in time… he saw me just after the Worldwide Awards and told me I needed a year to prepare for the marathon. I said that’s not possible and he got me on a disturbing diet and daily stretch routine that made me cry for the first 4 weeks…

I also enlisted the help of Barbara Brunner at Brunner Training.
She came in late but helped me with my running technique and the mental side! She works with Run Dem Crew and was highly recommended to me by Liam Feel Music from the Brownswood Board and Charlie Dark. She’s proper!

The knee went after about a mile so I took some painkillers that numbed it – I had been thinking cortisone shot before the race but now I’m well pleased I didn’t do a ‘Tony Adams!’ In fact the rest of my body seemed to cope ok – my hamstrings were mad tight though and for the last 6 miles I thought my little toes were destroyed, but all in all I got through pretty much unscathed – well so far… ask me tomorrow and it may be a different story!

I drank my first alcoholic drink yesterday in 3 months to celebrate – in case you’re wondering I uncorked a 2001 Bordeaux Pontet Canet – special!

Meanwhile thanks to everyone who made it to the Brownswood Pop-Up Store on Saturday. I think we were all amazed as to how many people showed up. Even though I was in full preparation mode I really enjoyed the gathering of the tribes – all generations and loads of vinyl. The bands were great too – RocketNumberNine and Obenewa plus some great DJ sets – thank you Orsii – you need to take spinning seriously – you’re good! Eliphino, Jesse Hackett and thebPm also killed it with their selections.

A big thank you to everyone who donated records and Zinger for the auction which was funny… some bargains were had – I really wanted to buy the Thom Yorke doodled 12 inch but that would have been wrong! Still got around 150 quid for it though. It was a really great day of club meets the record shop – look forward to next year already… or sooner… we could do it every month almost. Big up Peggy and Mita, Fawaz, Arthur, Alex and Josephine for the design too!

Running around the streets of London yesterday made me appreciate this great city and its people – I love it here. The crowd was so encouraging – amazing… and it was funny how it changed from Greenwich to Deptford to the Isle Of Dogs – posh to chavvy – classic… the bands playing along were great – a lot of jazz funnily enough… more thoughts of Steve Reid!… and a brilliant bit about 21 miles in just before Tower Bridge on the Highway – massive sound playing – Rhythm Is Rhythm – ‘Strings of Life’… I thought I was on one in a rave on the Lee Bridge Road in ’88… I was properly tripping by then – that was my existential moment of the marathon!

I also spent at least 5 miles running alongside a Japanese man dressed as a bishop – classic – and a lot of Japanese support everywhere – Ganbare Nippon!

I got recognised twice the whole circuit… big respect to you for looking out! Next time I’ll write my name on my shirt (thanks for the tip Dom Servini!) and most of all thanks to everyone who’s supported the Foundation so far – I’m deeply touched by all the good will – in just over 4 weeks we’ve almost reached £7000 through my Just Giving page, the Pop-Up Store made close to 2k and the 2 events I organised last year made 2k as well – so that’s close to £11,000 so far – good work!

So that’s it – marathon run done – what next??

It’s gotta be Tokyo 2012.
I ain’t letting go now!

Gilles P