I’ve dreamt of doing one thing all my life, about five years ago before I was even a runner I started applying to the London Marathon Ballot this year was the fifth time I had the famous rejection letter. The only difference being that now I had become a runner, I had gone to be in the crowds the year before and wanted to get in there and run!! However it was my second time as a spectator and this for me was all part of the day! So when my name got pulled out of the ballot at the xmas party four months of marathon training began. My dream was in reach all I had to do was train!!!!
So on 21st April 2013 I found myself on the start line of the most famous marathon in the world. I was in the blue start I over excitedly reached the blue zone holding pen rather early in my excitement and nervousness I struggled to eat much breakfast! Something that would later come back to haunt me. At the start I was ushered into pen 9 slightly concerned the pace maker was holding a 4.30 sign, some other runners also commented on this but apparently as its our first marathon you get put here, so I just though oh well I will just see what happens whatever will be will be who cares I am standing here, waiting impatiently waiting! First though as a mark of respect silence for the tragic events at Boston marathon as my own tribute I had written Boston down each side of my cap.
Then we were off I hadn’t got very far before it started getting emotional, telling myself to focus there’s 26 miles to go I managed to pull myself together and begin this epic roller coaster of my début Marathon! It was crowded I expected that so was quite surprised I managed to stick to my planned 8 mile pace for the first few miles at mile 3 the runners join together from different zones, the crowds were getting bigger and a pub had guns n roses tune blaring out that was it I went a bit over the top cheering and soaking up the atmosphere, this was incredible I was actually in the Marathon! Then came the Cutty Sark the crowds still getting bigger, I was sticking to my plan as best as I could and was maintaining my pace. Just one thing was starting to concern me after months of training in snow and sub zero temps it was hot getting hotter, I made sure I sipped water as I was going around the circuit. I kept running knowing my favourite part(except the finish)was coming up then a corner and there I was Tower Bridge this was getting emotional again I knew TV camera were here so took this opportunity to wave not that I got on TV! Ok so half way I knew I had friends and family looking out for me here. At this point you could see the elite coming the other way which was fantastic, keeping going I got to 17 and started over heating I was struggling and it was because of the heat, my plan went out the window not really knowing what to do for the best I kept going just slower and started taking jelly babies off the crowd with my name being shouted and also for Boston as this was on my hat I kept on, but 9 miles seemed so long!!! Somewhere between here and mile 21 Andy yu a regular cannon hill parkrunner spotted me but I was seriously flagging he went on and I had to walk feeling slightly mad disappointed with myself I knew I had to keep running, the crowd was shouting out to me I started to run again and the crowd started cheering me and applauding me that’s just what I needed with renewed energy I carried on. At mile 21 I found Andy struggling we decided we were going to stick together until the end exchanging some colourful language asking each other why the hell we were doing this and both taking it in turns to fade then encourage each other. Mile 23 we decided this is just Parkrun now something we do every week lets do it, we kept going! We sore Big Ben both knowing we were nearly at the end of our first Marathon we turned the corner 800 yards to go sign, wow it was hard but I kept going. Then Colin Jackson was in front of us like two over exited kids we both pointed and shouted Colin Jackson, Andy ran over to him high fived him and ran through the finish! I followed close behind to be met by Richard Branson the other side! We were in agony but overjoyed!! I was slightly disappointed to discover I missed out on a good for age place by 28 seconds! My marathon début 3.50.28 not bad for my first attempt! My medal was the best medal I’ve received.
Unfortunately just after finishing I had severe cramp and had to have medical assistant I was dehydrated, but it hasn’t put me off I just know for next time eat properly before hand and drink more too!!
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