I was lucky enough to win a club place for the marathon at the Christmas do. Having calmed the drunken thought that a quick lap of the racecourse could put me in good stead I set about taking my running from two or three days a week up to six. By keeping lots of the running off road I was fortunate enough to avoid any injuries en route and had a pretty smooth run up to the big day itself. I found the training experience extremely rewarding: following a schedule, measuring progress and seeing the weeks being ticked off led to an increase in confidence much more tangible than when training for three disciplines.
The marathon itself is an incredible experience – the weather was, unexpectedly, glorious, the support throughout is superb and you get to indulge in a full tourist trail of the sights of London. Being in Pen 3 of the Blue Start I crossed the start line after only 35 seconds. The first mile was heavily congested and so was about 30 seconds slow – after that it was possible to run at by target pace. The miles flew by at about 7.15 pace and I was excited to see Lucinda, Simon and Karen at mile 8 – excellent banner! The many twists and turns of Canary Wharf seemed to make things a little harder: at mile 19 Simon received some short shrift when shouting: “You’re almost half way!”
The final three miles were genuinely agonising. Runners all around were pulling up with cramp and I resorted to counting to ten over and over again. My pace slowed by around a minute a mile. Finally I understood Simon! Why the cameramen are prevalent in this area is beyond me – I felt and looked an absolute state. I was delighted to see my supporters five times in total (great work team) and finished the race in 3:12:22. I didn’t rule out another marathon when asked immediately after the race – I guess that means I’ll be back for more punishment sooner rather than later.
On a final note, I am really pleased to have raised £2000 for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation – thank you very much to all those who helped me achieve this.