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  • Writer's picture Irina


Where were we?

Last time we spoke, I’d just ran the Athens Marathon. It was November 2022.

Then things happened. A shit-show really. I lost my friend, my soul mate, my running buddy, my partner in crime. And with that came quiet and stillness and a void. I stopped writing. Probably the worst time to stop as there was undoubtedly a lot to say, quite possibly too much...

Shoreham beach, January 2023


The days passed and so did the weeks and so did the months and every time I went out on a run I would mentally attempt the first paragraph and promise myself to finish it as soon as I got home. But I didn’t. And the days passed and so did the weeks and so did the months. The longer I left it, the more it became a big deal. Looming over me every weekend, becoming harder and harder.


So why today? Why now? Oh, I can think of lots of reasons, profound ones with complicated emotional implications. It could also just be because the sun is shining and I’ve had a good night’s sleep, both rare occurrences these days. But I am a hopeless romantic and so I put it down to a runner I came across on an ridiculously long run 2 weeks ago. I was tired and running against the wind when our paths crossed. He was young, fit and fast. As he overtook me he shouted “You can do this”. And he was right. I can do this. So here goes…

Shoreham beach looooooong run - March 2024


18 months since the last story and a week before the next marathon. London this time. Another biggie. I entered the ballot for the London marathon after watching the 2023 one from start to finish and being inspired by the elites, the masses, the crowds, the route, all of it. The finish-line junkie in me craved that unique, irresistible feeling. But that was not all. Having lost Zara in January this was my way of finding her again, in a different way, feeling her presence, having her with me on the journey.


I (im)patiently waited for the ballot results. To this day I don’t know a single person to have gotten a place in the ballot but I was totally convinced the shit-show that was January meant I was owed one. Haha. Think again Irina. The “We’re so sorry email…” softened with a consolation prize running top left me hanging, feeling disproportionately disappointed. It felt  like bad luck and so unfair. Little did I know back then that this seemingly unfortunate event would trigger a long series of fortunate ones, starting with securing a place for the London marathon with an incredible charity, Asthma + Lungs UK. A cause close to my (broken) heart…


While all this was going on, other life stuff was in full swing. You see, 2023 was a milestone year. A year of change. A year of extreme life-changing sadness and grief. But also a year of forming new friendships and forging existing ones. A year of travel adventures all around the world. A year of little wins at work and at home. A year I will never forget and one I will talk about in the very near future.


I don’t yet know what I’ve learned from all this. Have I become stronger because of it or despite it? All I know as I sit here, with a week to go is that like it or not, life always wins and once again, I feel ready to ROAR.

(with apologies to Katie Perry...)

ROAR like thunder that’s gonna shake the ground.

ROAR louder than a lion. I want to dance through the fire. I want to be a champion.

Sometimes you just gotta ROAR and hope the universe will hear you.

Can you hear me?

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Apr 17

ROAR!!! A great post Irina; beautifully written - you have a talent for this, for sure!! ROAR for 26.2m on Sunday!! x


Apr 16

We all learn something from events, moments, people that come and go ...just sometimes we don't realize immediately, but sooner or later puzzles come together and this is the beauty of life.

You WON already by starting this journey and the young runner is right, YOU GOT THIS and on Sunday you can ROAR all the way to the finish line. We hear you ☺️


Evi Grammenidou
Evi Grammenidou
Apr 14

Roar your way to the finish line! We will be cheering for you from far away and so will someone else! Roar your way for her!


Apr 14

Hear your roar loud and clear! You are a champion x


Apr 14

Roar your heart out, we hear you!

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