After what felt like forever the big day had come. With the best intentions I got my head down at 9 the night before, but I couldn’t sleep, I came back downstairs after an hour of trying for some cereal and then headed back. I was just dropping of before our youngest boy Sam work complaining of an ear ache, we spent the next 3-4 hours trying to get him comfortable. I eventually fell asleep on the bottom of the boys bunk bed at about 3am!
Both Sam and I woke at 6 and his earache had “totally gone daddy!” – I had breakfast, and got kitted up ready to leave. The train journey was quick and I was in the Blue Start zone and met up with Clare and eventually Nick.
It still hadn’t quite sunk in to be honest, I was getting cold and wanted to get on with things. After going to the loo we headed to our start pen, we were right at the back but that was fine by me. All of a sudden I was running the London Marathon, a few years may have escaped as I started, it had been a long journey.
The first few miles went fairly quickly, there wasn’t much room to get around people but I kept to my 10 min/mile pace. I saw my first friend at 3 miles which gave me a welcome boost. It wasn’t long before we were all running round the Cutty Sark!
The next seven miles went fairly well, I was running through the area that I grew up in which made it a little more difficult because I knew it so well so it felt longer to run through, I found another friend who had bought me some sweets that were much needed as I was getting hungry, then came Tower Bridge.
It awesome running over that bridge, the atmosphere is electric and it’s not something I’ll forget in a hurry, as I reach halfway I was starting to hurt. I spent some time walking to gather my thoughts, before slowly finding my way again, my half marathon pace was a bit slower than I liked, but it wasn’t by much.
I ran/walked most of the Isle of Dogs, the atmosphere again at Canary Wharf was brilliant and as I finally headed back towards Limehouse I was really beginning to hurt. It’s at this point I should mention the crowds, people had told me how much of a lift they gave you but until you are there you really cannot appreciate it. I took music with me to listen to but I barely used it as it was just brilliant listening to the crowds. Everyone was supporting you, there people giving out fruit, sweets and the were loads of people to High-Five on the way, there was rarely a place on the route where there wasn’t someone cheering you on, incredible.
I soon realised that a time of 4:45 was slipping away but I wasn’t too bothered by mile 24, I was worried that I would come on over 5 hours but I managed to find some energy in my legs and as I reached Big Ben I knew that wasn’t going to happen, 800 meters to go, 600 then 385 yards, somehow I managed a sprint finish and all of a sudden I had done it! I was given my medal and I just started crying, a year ago I could barely run 10k without my knee giving me grief, a marathon wasn’t on the cards, yet here I was.
I got my bag really quickly, the organisation of the event was incredible, as were the volunteers. I then hobbled back to the station, I got to see a few messages on my phone but only had a few percent on my battery.
When I got home I was greeted to hugs and kisses, and Pizza Hut! Nick, who just managed to beat a giant testicle over the finish line (just!) rang me a few hours later to thank me and let me know that between the SpecialEffect team we had raised over £10k, so thank you to everyone who had sponsored me, I still have money to come in so I’m hoping to reach close to £1500!
As you can imagine, as I sit here writing this my legs have completely seized up! It doesn’t feel great, but the achievement does, hopefully I’ll back to do it again next year, and I have at least one more half marathon to run this year. For the next few weeks though, I’ll enjoy not running!