A Liverpool runner who had never taken part in a marathon 6 months ago, is now all set to complete his 3rd race over the gruelling 26 miles.
Liam Dolan, a social influencer from the city, has now set his sights on New York with the Paris Marathon in May and London, last month, already ticked off. Marathon running may all be part of the fitness boom, but still for most, completing one is beyond their wildest dreams. Physical and mental strength is tested to the full.
The desire shown to persevere through the challenge has pushed him to test his mental resilience:
“During the first marathon, the mental side of things was the biggest battle, thinking can I actually complete this? The feeling after you finish is unbelievable, it has made me more determined for everything else.”
Liam says the atmosphere generated in London was crucial in getting him across the line, understanding that there would be bumps along the road.
Iconic landmarks are guaranteed especially in cities with the beauty and significance of London and Paris.
The sheer excitement of his third and final marathon of the year being in New York is what gives Liam the most enthusiasm to complete his treble:
“The atmosphere in London was crazy so I can’t even imagine New York, running through Times Square and just sightseeing while doing it. When I was in Paris it didn’t even feel like I was running when I went past the Eiffel Tower, it just felt surreal.”
Completing a marathon in any time at all is a huge achievement, but for Liam he is always looking to go the extra mile and set crucial targets.
In both Paris and London, he completed finished in under five hours which speaks volumes for the commitment to his training and fitness regime.
Many physical barriers are presented during specific runs, whether it be a minor injury or a stitch, so to regain that consistency shows his character.
The tough schedule means preparation for New York on Sunday has been challenging, tjust four weeks after the London marathon.
Naturally, the recovery from that alone has provided Liam with some difficulties moving forward, but he has altered his training to take a different approach.
Usually, he would build up to the marathons by gradually running longer distances, but as he believes he can beat his time on this occasion, he has been focusing on pace over distance:
“They say you should do your biggest run a month before a marathon, but obviously a month before New York was when I did the London marathon. I’ve just been concentrating on my time and this time I’m going for under four hours.”
Fortunately for Liam, his motivation comes from a combination of the atmosphere generated and the support he has received from friends and family.
The physical difficulty when you start to get to the latter stages of the marathon, or “the wall” commonly known to marathon runners, is hard to get past, but knowing he is raising money for children with cancer is what Liam thinks will see him complete the New York showpiece run:
“We raised just under 1.5k for children with cancer, so just seeing people donate and support me gives me further motivation, because you can’t let everyone down. Not only does it help the children but it helps me too.”
The last six months have taught Liam that he is more than capable of completing anything he puts his mind to. One marathon alone would’ve been a success, so stepping over that finish-line in New York City on Sunday to complete his third will cap off a remarkable year.
Not only has he tested his physical and mental strength, but he has helped thousands of suffering children through his selfless, charitable act.
New York will be the toughest challenge yet, but his newly developed mindset will go so far in ensuring he does himself proud.