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Digital Subscriptions > Men's Running > December 2018 > THE GENEVA CONVERSION

THE GENEVA CONVERSION

HAVING PREVIOUSLY DISMISSED SWITZERLAND AS “EXPENSIVE AND BORING”, GEORGE BULL SEES IT IN A NEW LIGHT AT THE HARMONY GENEVA HALF MARATHON

As my plane leaves Gatwick Airport for Geneva, the two passengers next to me are laughing. “Can you believe I nearly got Euros out?” one of them says. Her friend laughs. I laugh – but in that small way that is actually a real-time expressing of your inner-moron. I got Euros. Geneva is, of course, in Switzerland. Home of the private bank, the fondu and, alas, the Swiss Franc. It is a city that, until now, I’d imagined expensive and boring. Turns out, it is expensive, but it’s also enchanting – especially on a warm weekend in early May.

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About Men's Running

I never had any desire to run a marathon. Yes, I watched it religiously every year from 1984 when Charlie Spedding set the then-English record and marveled at the speeds. But it didn’t hold any appeal for me. I was a track runner, a thoroughbred, an out-and-out speed merchant; the thought of running 26 miles consecutively, back-to-back, was just too monstrous a thought. And then I started working in running and I realised that, for 99% of the population, running IS marathons. No one ever says ‘ah, you’re a runner, what’s your 1500metre time?’. The first question anyone asks is ‘have you run a marathon?’. Fortunately, I’m now in the happy position to say yes. Several in fact. And more half marathons than I can actually remember. But running a marathon still isn’t easy. If it was, more people would have done it. It takes training, and work, and effort and a resilient mindset that says ‘I’m not going to give up on this journey’. In this special issue, we reveal the secrets, the highs and lows and the training that can get you round a marathon. There’s something here for everyone, even if you’re an experienced marathoner. As Emil Zatopek famously said: “If you want to run, run a mile. If you want to experience a different life, run a marathon.”