Mike B
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Mike Bushell details his London Marathon experiences, new book and upcoming appearance on Celebrity Mastermind.

Mike B
Posted by
17 Dec 2013

Apart from eating Vaseline in 2011, thinking it was energy gel on the hand of a St John's ambulance volunteer, it had been a smooth and wonderful experience. So here I was back for more two years later, running for all my new friends at Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research. This time was different. I had got cocky, had thought it would be a breeze like two years before. So I hadn't trained as much, I was older, and I was carrying a mini camera so I could film the experience. This made me set off like a hare at the front of the media start and I was on clear road, with the crowds cheering filling the camera with wonderful shots of the hoards of excited well-wishers.

I completed the first mile in 7 minutes 20, and in doing so had booked my date with the wall at 14 miles. The previous 12 had been spent watching the heels and backside of anyone and everyone passing me as my post first mile pace slowed and slowed. The big red 14 mile sign loomed into view and I mumbled some exhausted gibberish into the camera. A very nice chap called Bob joined me and said he enjoyed the Saturday morning features but I couldn't really talk back...I was facing up to the fact that the next 12 miles would be a fog of pain and elongated mental torture.

I completed my first marathon in 4 hours 40, and had enjoyed every step, high fiving any out stretched hand and stopping for a chat or photo with anyone who asked. This time however I was almost in a trance.  I just had to fix on my goal, and was determined not to let my charity down. I, like most people, have supported friends who have been through leukaemia and lymphoma and have seen the advances made in the war on these diseases. So much more needs to be done and it is beatable if we can keep going ....that's the thought that kept me going as the endless sea of faces sucked me towards the line.

5 hours and 10 minutes had passed by the time I finally came to a stop. I hadn't walked but had been overtaken by walkers and several dogs, but then again they have four legs and so have a natural advantage.

It will go down as one of the most painful sporting experiences that I have sampled over the past eight years on BBC Breakfast. I started them to try and inspire people off the sofa at the weekend. I wanted to widen the sporting family and target those people, like one of my daughters, who didn't think sport was for them. They think it's elitist, or they are not good enough, and haven't the confidence. I want to banish such feelings.

We need lots more people having fun with sport and not getting embarrassed, like me. My book is all about proving that there is a sport out there for absolutely everyone ...you may not have heard about it yet, but whether it's Nurdling, Rock-It-Ball, ultimate or even worm charming, there is something for even the un-sportiest person.

I set out each week to profile the different activities showing what they are like for a beginner and showing how good the pros really are. Apparently my tally of 380 featured in the book is a world record.

Nurdling is what John Humphrys quizzed me about when I appeared on Celebrity Mastermind. The programme has been filmed and is scheduled to be screened at 5.30pm on Saturday 28 December. It was a daunting honour to sit in the famous black chair, as the lights dim and the camera slowly zooms in.

My specialist subject was Alan Partridge, the fictional TV and radio presenter whom I have followed over the last two decades....mainly so that I never start turning into him. There have been parallels.  I have got a world record for rolling across a mile of water in a large inflatable ball, but thankfully I have never been debagged at a pharmaceutical conference.

I am not allowed to say how I got on against Gail Porter (fellow TV presenter), Danny John Jules (Red Dwarf, Death in Paradise and Storymakers) and TV chef Prue Leith as we competed for the glass shard trophy. Each participant’s chosen charity received a donation from BBC Mastermind for their appearance on the programme. I chose to continue to support the fantastic work of Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research.

Tune into Mastermind on 28 December to find out whether Mike is crowned champion of the black chair….