In 1981, the idea for the London Marathon was conceived in the Dysart Arms pub by olympic medal winners John Disley and Chris Brasher.
They had both run in the 1979 New York Marathon and this inspired them to organise a London event.
Public awareness was low back then and the event attracted 20,000 entrants with 7,747 making it to the start and 6,255 finishing.
From those humble beginnings, the event has gone from strength to strength and is now one of the world’s best known running events attracting a record 386,050 entries for 2018. Since 1981, the event has raised over £750M for charity.
The idea for Open Banking may not have been hatched in a pub, however, public awareness is low and the organisers live in hope that it will become a success.
Over the past year I have had the privilege of witnessing some of the entrants ‘train’ and work together. Blood sweat and tears, grit and determination combined with regulatory ‘encouragement’, have prepared the participants for one of the most gruelling and
exciting events they may ever face.
The race is due to start tomorrow and no doubt there will be a decent mixture of famous names and newcomers.
When the gun finally goes off, some will speed into the distance from the start and others will take their time to familiarise themselves with the course and focus on reaching the finish.
There is no doubt there will be mishaps, injuries and those forced to withdraw. However, many will soldier on and together the new Open Banking ecosystem will take shape.
The early London Marathon pioneers laid important foundations in 1981. A year later there were 90,000 entries and 18,059 making it to the start.
When he finished the New York Marathon, the late Chris Brasher wrote in an Observer newspaper article:
“To believe this story you must believe that the human race can be one joyous family, working together, laughing together, achieving the impossible. Last Sunday, 11,532 men and women from 40 countries in the world, assisted by over a million people, laughed,
cheered and suffered during the greatest folk festival the world has seen.”
Today the UK public may not know much about Open Banking. Scepticism and fear may be more appropriate words than joy and laughter. However, those involved at the start of the UK Open Banking launch are laying the foundations for the future in the UK and beyond.
For spectators, the early race may not be a pretty sight, but rest assured it will improve given time and participant capability and public support will grow with it.
For the last 37 years the world has looked forward to the London Marathon, hopefully we will be saying the same about the value Open Banking brings to the world in years to come.