Running The Virtual Virgin London Marathon With The Maurice Lacroix Aikon Chronograph
On Sunday, October 4th, Watchonista’s Sophie Furley ran the virtual London Marathon with a helping hand from Maurice Lacroix and its Aikon Chronograph.
Who would have thought that I would be running my first London Marathon in Switzerland? When you think about it, it is bonkers, but then again, 2020 has been one hell of a year.
Not Over The Hill Yet
My marathon plans first started in 2019 when I earned a highly-sought-after place running for the charity Whizz-Kidz (more about them in a minute). I had run a couple of marathons in my thirties and wanted to do one more before my 50th birthday in an attempt to prove to myself that I wasn’t really over the hill!
Training Times Three
My training was going well until one month before the big day, and I injured my gluteus maximus (the technical term for the muscle in your bottom) and was forced to abandon the race. Luckily, the lovely people at Whizz-Kidz allowed me to defer my entry to 2020. So in January of this year, training began all over again, only to be thwarted by COVID-19. Then the April 2020 date was pushed to October 2020, and on went the running shoes again, only to come off at the end of the summer when it was announced that the Virgin London Marathon would be canceled.
The Virgin Virtual London Marathon
There was a glimmer of hope, though. The organizers proposed a Virtual London Marathon for anyone who wanted to run. There would be no crowds, no crossing London Bridge, no admiring the London Eye, I would be stuck here in Switzerland, but when you are running for a good cause, these things are secondary.
Whizz-Kidz is an incredible charity that supports disabled children by providing them with vital equipment, assistance, and the life skills they need to reach their full potential. Many children living with disabilities struggle to get a wheelchair that meets all their needs, and Whizz-Kidz helps provide state-of-the-art wheels for children so they can be as active and independent as possible. I went to visit them during a Saturday get-together in Birmingham, England, last year. I witnessed first-hand how much fun the children had, playing together while working on coordination, fine motor skills, team building, and social skills.
London Marathon Charity Place
To run on behalf of Whizz-Kidz, I needed to raise £2,000 for the charity, and after friends and family had dug deep into their pockets, I was delighted to receive a very generous donation from Maurice Lacroix. So, when the day started to approach, I asked the brand if I could perhaps borrow a chronograph to celebrate our virtual running adventure together. A few days later, this stunning Limited Edition Aikon Chronograph turned up on my doorstep.
Normally, I would run with my Garmin digital sports watch that gives my speed, pace, steps, calories, elapsed time, etc. Besides, many watch- and running-lovers scoff at the idea of running with a “regular” watch (not that you would call the Maurice Lacroix Aikon “regular,” but you know what I mean).
But it was actually the perfect running partner because it gave me the current time and elapsed time, which is all you really need, especially with the Virgin London Marathon App running on my phone, giving me mileage updates. Add to this the fact that I could actually read it at a glance, which is really saying something with my 50-year-old eyesight!
The Maurice Lacroix Aikon Chronograph Limited Edition
The Maurice Lacroix Aikon Chronograph is particularly light, so it was extremely comfortable to run with. The black PVD-coated steel timepiece comes in the brand’s iconic 44mm Aikon case with its six-arm design and chronograph pushers that are positioned close to the crown and crown protector for a sporty aesthetic.
The sun-brushed dial features a 30-minute counter at 9 o’clock, a 1/10 second counter at 12 o’clock, and a small seconds indication at 6 o’clock, all of which is powered by a highly-precise quartz movement for runners who just want to concentrate on their running.
Touches Of Sky Blue
Where many chronographs favor shades of red, orange, or yellow, the Maurice Lacroix Aikon Chronograph Limited Edition combines its stealthy black looks with a gorgeous sky-blue color scheme. Blue touches stand out on the central chronograph hand, on the chronograph counters, and the minute track.
Even the black calfskin strap with its carbon-fiber look is adorned with elegant sky-blue stitching. It is a color for running under a big blue sky, which I particularly appreciated even if the sky I was running under was chucking it down.
The Virtual Race Route
The Maurice Lacroix Aikon Chronograph Limited Edition and I were initially due to depart from the Maurice Lacroix factory and run to the Bienne Lake, which is exactly 26 miles. Only my husband had to have an operation on his toe two days before the race (I have my suspicions that he scheduled it on purpose, but that’s another story!). So, I decided to run from Lake Leman, near where I live, up to the top of La Dôle mountain and back down again.
I ended up walking up, then running down, as it was more challenging than I had anticipated. And I crawled the last few miles as I got a bit lost and ended up doing two additional miles, very much against my will! No one was cheering when I passed the finish line, but the London Marathon app did make quite a loud whooping noise with recorded sounds from the 2019 race! I am signed up for the “real” race again in October 2021, so hopefully, my Maurice Lacroix and I can live the real experience one day and make the Whizz-Kidz truly proud all over again.
(Photography by Pierre Vogel)