I cannot quite believe that it has been nearly two weeks since I ran the London Marathon, and what an amazing journey it has been! Firstly thank you all who contributed to both Charities Crohn’s and Colitis and Parkinson’s, you have all been so generous and words cannot not describe my gratitude!
This experience I shall not forget for sometime, the last few weeks I guess I have been in a bit of a daze and it still hasn’t quite sunk in that I actually completed 26.2 miles through the streets of London, what a buzz!
Race day arrived and I was extremely nervous, my aim was just hoping to get around hopefully in under 4 hours considering the little niggle I had. I met all my fellow runners on the Marathon Express from Hastings, and it was so great to be surrounded by well seasoned marathoner’s and a few first timers like myself! We arrived at Blackheath in good time, and headed to our various start points, I was so impressed with the organisation, everything seemed to work like clockwork. I handed in my bag and made my way to the start pen, I had met up with Steve Willis another runner from Hastings who was also in the same pen and also had a similar time in mind as me.. I was amazed at the sheer number of runners and knew it was going to be interesting getting underway with 40,000 of us. We crossed the start in around 5 mins, my objective was to run 8 minute miling which would make it around 3.30, the first half was spot on, splits were good, the challenge for me was to keep refuelled and drink plenty of water as the weather was warm. Steve and I pushed each other on and we felt good at the halfway point, it was here I began to think can I do this again, that is another 13.1 miles! I still could not quite get my head around the amount of runners and trying to stay focused on not getting tripped up or stumbling on a bottle at each of the water stations. We got to 14 miles and Steve was struggling a bit and he stopped, I was concerned, but he assured me he was ok and told me to push on.
The mind can play tricks on you and everything was going well until mile 16, I started to flag and I felt a bit light-headed, I was flagging for a mile or so. The doubt started to kick in a bit, this is where the mental strength needs to come into play, I kept telling myself I can I do this, I can do this, putting one foot in front of the other. I needed a lift and I knew at mile 21 there would be the RDC crew who were always a massive boost in supporting all the runners, I know because I have been part of that support in 2013! I dug in and just kept driving to mile 21, when I finally turned that corner, the mass of supporters for their runners was amazing! All the faces cheering everyone on! It totally lifted me, people were shouting your amazing, keep going! I knew then that this was the final hurdle to the finish! The last 5 miles were a bit of a blur, a sea of familiar faces in the crowd, people calling my name which was just overwhelming.The Big Ben was in my sights and I knew the end was in sight and I was on for under 4 hours in fact I thought I could make it under 3.45. I hit the Mall and saw that all important finish line, 600 metres, 400 metres, I was a little delirious when I reached the finish! Wow I had done it! It just felt overwhelming and slightly surreal. My time was 3.42!
Got to say, I was totally buzzing after it, legs were just about moving but they were tierd.
Did I enjoy it? Yeah pretty much most of it! Probably one of the hardest things I have ever done on so many levels, from the training to getting to the start line.