YPSP – Callum Sloan’s London Mini Marathon 2017

Callum Sloan with coach Pamela Robson after the marathon

London is one of the biggest and coolest cities in the world. It also hosts one of the biggest events on the athletics and sporting calendar, The London Marathon.

Of course being fourteen years old I’m not able to do the 26.2 mile course, so instead I do the London Mini Marathon which is 3 miles. It starts from Old Billingsgate and finishes at the main marathon finish line on The Mall.

This year was my third year doing the Mini Marathon and after a less than impressive performance last year where I finished 3 minutes off my Personal Best (24.14) in a brand new racing wheelchair, I was out to have fun and push well but also for a little bonus, to beat my PB. I always feel that it goes too quickly because I love taking in all the atmosphere of the crowd and racing past some of the most iconic landmarks in London. I didn’t rush off at the start because I knew if I did then I might not have enough in me to really push it for the last mile so I tucked nicely into the pack and let all the older, stronger and faster boys go past me (the boys race and the girls race were set off at different times).

Coming out of Blackfriars and up the hill I decided to pick up the pace a bit more. I passed a few other racers until I came to someone who was so competitive. They decided to start cutting in front of me and forcing me to slam my brakes. They kept on doing it so when the opportunity came I put a nice move round the outside coming up to Westminster. At this point I honestly felt like Lewis Hamilton winning the Formula 1 World Championship just because I was so happy to make such a move in this race. After that I just kept a cool head and focused on crossing the finishing line because at the end of the day that was the most important thing.

Once I came off the final corner I was almost crying (happy crying, but luckily I didn’t) because I looked up to see the clock at just over 20 minutes so I pushed with all that I had left in me to make sure I could make it to the end. Honestly I think that point was actually the most nerve-racking moment of the whole race for me because I could see what time I was setting so I was trying so hard to make sure I didn’t just stop right at the line unable to finish. At last I crossed the line and immediately after felt a huge sense of relief that I had done it. I had completed my third and best London Mini Marathon yet!!!

Afterwards in the cool down tent, where all the racers gathered, I was trying not to shout in delight knowing that I had finished. I didn’t know the time but at this point but I was pretty sure I had beat my PB  (I knew it didn’t take me four and a half minutes to do 250 metres or so!) When my coach Pamela and my mum came to congratulate me they could see the delight on my face and so could all my family and friends. Oh by the way, my medal was awesome as well!!!

Sitting in the airport waiting for my flight home the London Mini Marathon times had officially been released. My time was 21.25, three minutes off my PB and six minutes off last year’s time!!! I was so happy and relieved to finally have confirmation that I had beat my PB! But the next day at school was harder than usual just because of how tired I was due to all the adrenaline the previous day.

Overall it was awesome and a great experience. Not many fourteen year olds can say they have run (or wheeled) the streets of London. After beating my PB as well, that was the highlight of what was a great London Mini Marathon.


Dunfermline, Fife