Kathryn Doudican reports: Last year I decided that I’d like to complete a marathon before a significant birthday which will be in 3 year’s time this coming weekend! I decided to aim for the big one, entering the VLM ballot unsuccessfully before being lucky enough to secure a place through the club draw at Christmas.
I’d enjoyed the training, thanks to the company of many other members of the club, and was pleased with my performances on my pre-marathon races. Other than a couple of minor niggles I managed to reach the start line injury free, despite paranoia in the last couple of weeks that any twinge was a terrible injury or that I might be catching a cold.
I had two aims: not to go out too fast in the first few miles and to keep running no matter what. I began by running with the friendly Runners World 9 minute mile pace man and his orange lollipop. The first few miles were steady and comfortable as I chatted to others who had joined the pace group, taking in the atmosphere of the event, amazed by the amount of complete strangers who shout your name. There were however, a couple of points where the flow of runners annoyingly came to a near standstill.
It was good to see and hear Sue and Jo Ward in the crowds, and I felt really excited to run past Cutty Sark (a lasting image from watching the marathon on TV as a child) cheered on by Mark and my good friend Jo. I continued taking in the atmosphere, trotting along close to the orange lollipop until the heat started to get to me a little around mile 9; by Tower Bridge I had decided to reassess my goals, dropping back from the pace group to ensure that I enjoyed the experience and finished rather than pushing to finish under 4 hours, risking exhaustion.
Despite dropping the pace a little, I was surprised by how tired I felt at miles 16- 20 but seeing the 20 mile marker I told myself that there was only a Monday night run to go, giving myself a good talking to about finishing the final stretch without walking. At some point the crowds of runners slowed to a virtual stop for a few seconds again in what I can only assume was a bottle neck. At each mile marker I urged myself to run on despite feeling like I was wading through treacle at a snail’s pace (looking back at my splits I was still running at a steady 9 minute something pace).
I was boosted by seeing Linda, Nicola and the Flag around mile 20, Lesley Byrne a little later, followed by reassuring cheers from Mark and Jo at mile 23. Mark tells me that he was surprised by how relaxed I looked at this point but inside I was totally exhausted. I thought of my kids, the charity I was supporting and imagined how I would feel at the finish. At one point I even kept myself running by imagining the painful cramp that I would feel in my calves if I walked.
I reached a turning point physically, mentally and literally as I ran past Big Ben, feeling tiny and in awe of its size and beauty. Pushing on I knew I was nearly there although the “385 metres to go” sign which seemed to be 200 metres after “400 metres to go” annoyed me. I managed a big, slightly delirious but genuine smile for the cameras and finished in 4.03.23. I’m happy with that!
My thoughts on finishing are that 26.2 miles is a very long way and I respect anyone who has the endurance to complete a marathon. Many congratulations to all who have completed marathons over the last few weekends as well as to those who will do in the forthcoming weeks and thank you to those who came to support.
The list below is just those who were listed as a BvH member on the London Marathon results. If you know any more from the club who ran then do list them in the comments.
|place overall||place gender||place category||name||category||finish time|
|1952||1828||243||» WHEELER, ANDREW GERARD (GBR)||45-49||03:09:05|
|3679||3262||749||» Pearson, Stuart Anthony (GBR)||40-44||03:24:25|
|3816||441||279||» Rock, Sarah J (GBR)||18-39||03:25:27|
|7287||1322||797||» Walton, Jenny (GBR)||18-39||03:45:17|
|8508||6848||1420||» Gittins, James Robert (GBR)||40-44||03:50:56|
|8630||1684||998||» Delahaye-Slater, Julie Elizabeth (GBR)||18-39||03:51:26|
|9180||1826||1073||» Holden, Emily R (GBR)||18-39||03:53:42|
|9533||1914||1129||» Hampson, Becky (GBR)||18-39||03:54:59|
|11655||9155||1835||» Abraham, Nigel Hugh (GBR)||40-44||04:02:27|
|11846||2566||1502||» Doudican, Kathryn F (GBR)||18-39||04:03:23|
|14322||3298||641||» Thompson, Michaela (GBR)||40-44||04:13:42|
|20364||5399||3170||» Ward, Rachel Nanette (GBR)||18-39||04:36:49|
|23469||6588||803||» Wilkes, Maria Katherine (GBR)||45-49||04:49:20|
|29328||9119||1587||» Ribchester, Joanne (GBR)||40-44||05:20:10|