London Marathon 2024 – 21st April 2024

Nicola Morris writes: It was thanks to Bournville Harriers I was at the start line of the London Marathon 2024. It seemed a lifetime since the Christmas party when my name got pulled out of the hat, and there had been a lot of miles run between then and now……I was excited but nervous…….I hadn’t been completely happy with my training which was on my mind and I was unsure how that would play out on route.

It was the usual slightly frantic pre marathon prep and trek to the start line, short sleeve top or vest? How many gels did I need? Had I eaten enough breakfast and where had I put my banana to eat on route?! From the moment I left the hotel I was joined by fellow runners heading to the tube to get to London Bridge and then on to a packed train to Greenwich.

It was quite a cold morning, the bag had gone on to the lorry, I had queued for the portaloos and I stood for what felt like a long time shivering, waiting to get called up for my start.

……and then we were off!…….I spent the first few miles just taking it all in……and warming up!……it was perfect weather conditions for running. Before I knew it I was at mile 7, running past Cutty Sark which was amazing. The crowds were roaring and in fact, never stopped all the way round.

I was feeling good, spurred on by the crowds….I came round the corner at about 12 miles to the view of Tower Bridge, it gave me a real lift.

……..Towards Canary Wharf and I was starting to feel a bit tired. I tried to stay focused. It was great to see my family and spot some Bournville Harriers in the crowds around Canary Wharf. This helped to take my mind off the miles and I was soon getting close to 20/21 miles… although my watch wasn’t telling me the same thing as the mile markers along the road which was confusing me!…. I later found out that it wasn’t unusual for the GPS to be a bit intermittent around Canary Wharf.

So, for the rest of the race my watch and the mile markers didn’t tally up. At the time I had no idea why……..and after 21 miles of running was too tired to think too much about it, I just kept running.

While hard going, the last few miles were passing by and before I knew it I was heading towards the Houses of Parliament, past Buckingham Palace and I was on The Mall……Did they really need to tell me every 200m I was 200m closer to the finishing line!…..800m….400m…..200m…..Seriously, where was that finish line!…..and then I was there.

Medal round my neck, bag retrieved I didn’t dare sit down in case the cramp kicked in and I couldn’t get up again.

Thanks Bournville Harriers for my place, I loved it!!