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.
The Starting pens
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.
Running up towards Big Ben
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.
Running past Buckingham Palace
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.
Over the finish line!
It was a truly amazing experience and a special thanks goes to the Mothers’ Union for giving me the opportunity.
I With less than a week to go until the London Marathon the urgency to complete my roundup of my 100 mile run around the diocese is increasing.
This run took place on the 18th March and was a relatively short run which was a bit of a relief before the last two humongous runs of 18 and 20 miles. It was a mere 9 miles.
Non the less enjoyable though. For those of you that don’t know the area this run took place on the outskirts of Cambridge.
A quick photograph at Stapleford before I set off.
This route, on paper, looked relatively easy. Despite this I managed to misread the directions on my watch which ended up with me running through a park and ride car park. I then managed to get a bit lost in a large development of new houses when my planned route seemed to take me to a dead-end. Eventually I managed to turn up at Trumpington church where everyone was busy tidying up the church yard. When I arrived most people were taking a coffee break but we managed to persuade these hard workers to stop for a moment to have their photograph taken.
I then ended up retracing my steps a bit to go back to Stapleford where there was a lovely crowd of people waiting to meet me at a coffee meeting. Despite having to find a community building off from the main road I managed not to get lost at this bit!
The lady in the check trousers is the lovely Sylvie who has run 17 marathons, including the London Marathon several times. I was very privileged to be able to see her medals and photographs. What a true hero she is. I just wish I had more time to pick up more tips to help me get around on the big day. 1 more run to go!
In complete contrast to the previous Saturday this morning was bright and sunny, cold but sunny. Today, being half term I had my lovely boys with me. It is on days like this that I really appreciate how good-natured they are as not all boys of their age would happily tag along to something like this.
Today’s schedule started with a phone call to the press! How exciting. This was followed up with photographs outside the cathedral.
All by a professional photographer! The pained look on their faces was due to them having to crouch down. Apparently their legs are not really strong enough. (It doesn’t look sunny but it was, I promise.)
I then had a gentle jog along the road to Littleport. Only 5 miles but really beautiful in the sunshine. On arrival (I beat those following in the car) I was greeted by some more lovely ladies with lunch all set up.
Some really lovely leek and potato soup which just happens to be my children’s favourite! We had a lovely chat.
Tour number 2 done and very pleasant it was too!