CITIZEN reporter Chris Dixon sets out on Sunday (April 26) on the biggest story of his career so far - the London Marathon- and here are his thoughts with only a couple of days to go.

Marathon weekend is upon us and it's now that I realise why cars were invented.

I mean 26 miles! That's 104 laps of an athletics track.

On Sunday morning, forget the other thousands of runners.

There is only one opponent worth beating and that is the course itself.

I've never pulled out of a race yet - and don't intend to - but I've never even attempted a marathon before so nerves are just setting in.

Running for a charity, in my case the PDSA, is another reason I have to finish.

As gruelling as it is, it should be an enjoyable experience as well.

Sights such as the Cutty Sark, Tower Bridge and the Tower of London should be even more exciting when coupled with the most famous marathon in the world.

Someone, who shall remain nameless, told me of his experience of the marathon just the other day.

His advice was simple: "Once you get to 16 miles, don't think how far you've got left to go, because ten miles is a long, long way!"

Thanks ... I think. It's strange that as the marathon nears, more and more people approach with stories of terror, just to cheer me up and egg me on.

It's a bit like people telling you about horrific plane crashes as you sit in the departures lounge.

The start of a new running club in Lytham has helped me in my training.

The club has just found its feet under Bryan Grundy and looks set to be a huge success.

It meets on Tuesday and Thursday nights at Lytham Conservative Club and caters for the good athletes, the bad athletes and plain terrible runners, like myself.

So if you would like to start running or want to train with others, come along and join in, even if it's just to socialise.

Converted for the new archive on 14 July 2000. Some images and formatting may have been lost in the conversion.