2 weeks ago last Sunday was the London marathon. It feels like so much longer. It was however, the most amazing day. It started with a very early alarm (5.15am!). I was getting the bus down hence the early start. It is probably the easiest way to go although it does involve getting up very early and then hanging around for ages in the start zones. It is definitely cheaper than staying in a hotel and I figure that I get the same amount of sleep as I am in my own bed.
Getting to the start zones early also has advantages as it means that you have lots and lots of toilets to choose from that are mostly clean. There is also free tea, coffee, water and Lucozade as well as a marquee to keep you warm. After a breakfast and many trips to the toilets I we decided that it was time to put our bags onto the lorries and begin to think about going to the start zone.
Once the actual race had started it was another 20 minutes before we actually went across the start but then we were off. It was really busy – over 40,000 runners this year which meant that there wasn’t much room and lots of stopping and starting as you came across people that were walking. It was hard to get into any real rhythm and the dodging around people mean that I actually clocked 27.3 miles. Towards the end my watch was one whole mile out from the official mile markers. The crowds however were amazing. The first time someone shouted out my name I stopped and look back thinking that I should know them. I then remembered that I had my name in big sparkly letters on the front of my vest. Duh! I soon got used to it and had many little waves of thanks.
Tower bridge is always a pretty momentous place to be, just before half way but it always feels really special to be running across that bridge. You then head out to the docklands before coming back to see a lot more of the famous landmarks.
Heading over the finish line is always a bit of a relief touched with a bit of sadness, it is all over. You then find yourself in a really busy place, photographers wanting to take your photograph, other runners, people telling you where to go, all when you feel completely shattered. My legs stop doing what my brain is telling them to do and I feel like I am mindlessly wandering along. I wanted to stop but didn’t dare to for seizing up. The goody bag was given to me which I very nearly dropped – it was so heavy! As I staggered up the mall I found my bag and carried on walking along to meet my family.
It was a truly amazing experience and a special thanks goes to the Mothers’ Union for giving me the opportunity.