London Marathon -where the magic happened- a race report delayed almost as much as the race itself!
Long long ago, in pre Covid times, I started training for the London Marathon. Training had gone well- one highlight was running to the Running Show – we thought we were so cool… but then, on Friday 13th (well it would be!) (March 2020) the race was axed! Oh, okay , not axed, postponed till October that year .. but still, those 20 mile runs had been hard.
Fast forward to late Summer, more 20 mile runs done, but London in October was looking increasingly uncertain. Boston Lincs. however had a Covid secure race licence and was entered as a backup… but with 3 weeks to go that was axed along with London-again. We did run the Virtual London Marathon but it really wasn’t quite the same.
Fast forward still further to October 2021 (another batch of 20+ mile runs done- good grief!)and finally there we were! Where the place? Upon Blackheath-there to run a marathon ! (apologies to Macbeth) Sara and I found ourselves in yellow start.. yellow start? There’s never been a yellow start before but with the marathon including the Abbot WMM age group champs. They’d put all the good for age (always seems a bit of a backhanded compliment) runners there. This meant a fast start, right at the front- rather faster than I intended! I hit 5k at 25:17, 10k at 50:26 and 1/2 marathon at1:47:25…. but this wasn’t a half marathon! After 20 months of training and some extremely generous sponsorship for Alzheimer’s – thank you- there was a lot invested however so on I went! Can’t slow down ? … as the song says!
London had come out in force to cheer us on and I was buoyed up by brass bands, drum bands, pipe bands, Morris dancers and even a priest sprinkling holy water. ( I’ll take any encouragement !)There were huge crowds as well as the wonderful BVH London Cool Crew , plus my son and his girlfriend.
Fuelled by some hideous combination of gels and Lucozade Sport I managed to keep every mile under 9 minutes and far exceeded my own expectations with a 5 1/2 minute pb in 3:41:17. The finish line was crossed with an air punch and ‘Thank ***k that’s over’ before I sank to my knees and promptly threw up!!
I was rewarded with not one but two medals & a nice t shirt followed by a couple of pints of cider in the rain!
For those you and I love who lived or are living with dementia I gave it my absolute all and that day the magic happened !