15 April 2014

Finisher of the #LondonMarathon speaking...

The Morning of the #LondonMarathon

Early starts always heighten excitement - just think about getting up at 5am for a holiday - and the marathon was no different. I put on my gear with bleary eyes and got mum to take a picture so friends could track me. Me and Dad were getting the coach up to London with the rest of the Sandhurst Joggers and of COURSE... We were the last to the car park. 

By the time we had got there I had heard Mo Farah's advice from John (who's company I enjoyed on the coach) who was lucky enough to train with him last year... Some people get all the luck. I had eaten my oxidised smoothie which was now a grey-brown. And a Nature Valley bar. And a banana. I was so full by the start line but it didn't seem much to get me round - I just had to put faith in the trusty carbo loading.

Once we got off the coach the SJs (Sandhurst Joggers) sat in a circle and compared times, plans and they graciously lent me Vaseline and sun cream, two things that I didn't have in my heaving bag. I remember Becca's (a half marathon runner and friend) words "Vaseline everything". I tentatively wiped my upper arms to stop the tank piping from my charity vest from rubbing. 

We went to the portaloos a few times and the whole thing reminded me of morning spent at Redfest or Reading festival. Except this was much much more...

TO BE CONTINUED...

Things I didn't expect...

  • Salt from your sweat can chafe all sorts of areas. Let your imagination run wild...
  • Bottles can be a serious tripping hazard.
  • You cry without tears. There just isn't any spare water to cry out.
  • The drastic change in architecture.
  • You can be doubting yourself even with 800 yards to go.
  • You can need the loo when running - this has NEVER happened to me.
  • To get a tan (read: sunburn)
  • To finish.

'Thank-You's

You do not complete a marathon alone. This may sound like an Oscar speech, but there are certain people that I wouldn't have completed the marathon without.

My Mum...

...Who pushed her own limits to get me through my training runs. Mum's are unbelievably selfless.



My Dad...

...Who entered me to start with and was always ready with 'running talk'. Most of all he showed me how important it is to be passionate about your hobbies, because when the going gets tough it's a focus and the boost you often need. "Ian doesn't walk, Ian doesn't walk..."

My Framily and Friends who supported...

...My Mum, Brother and Uncle (who came all the way from Dallas). My Aunty Kirsty and cousins Susie and Adem who made my a sign and took time out of their revising schedule. My godmother Alison and god sister Hayley. My baby buddy Ruth and Kate who endured a looooong day despite needing a hip replacement. My best friends Josh (allow yourself a day off soon!) and my wife Lucy. I CAN'T BELIEVE SHE CAME TO SURPRISE MEEEEE!!! She was the first person I noticed when I came up to my supporters at 11 and a half miles and thought I was hallucinating. Matt who was screaming like there was no tomorrow when he saw me. Sammy who come out (but I unfortunately missed - I appreciate it all the same!!). All the Sandhurst joggers at the KM markers who endured sweaty hugs.

My supporters...

... To everyone who wished me luck, text me, tweeted me, congratulated me and read this blog. To all the encouraging messages that kept me smiling when all I wanted to do was mope around and curse the day I got my place. Friends from all walks of life have sent me messages and it's such a boost.




To all those who donated...

I didn't have to fundraise, but boy I'm glad I did. It's been a tricky couple of years. First I got ill, but more importantly my Dad's epilepsy came to test us all. It's been tough, but people know this and know how much I've struggled through the training and have donated extremely generously. I'm so chuffed at the donations I've received. Especially from the people who I haven't seen in a few years or rarely speak to - you're amazing and £2 donations mean every bit as much.

See my progress here. Currently the total stands at over £888 including gift aid!!!

To Sandhurst Joggers and to the regular runners...

To have a group of running nerds there to answer my every query has helped enormously. They make me laugh and cry with their encouragements, jokes and inspirational stories. (Please read Vicky's - I cry every time.) There's no commitment to run every week - and after my injury I certainly didn't - but they're there on Facebook still believing in me.

To Julie Melotte...

...Who got me through the first half of my longest training run, without tears, with massages. She came over and screamed my name across the crowd when I got in my pen at the start and as a result got the first tears of the day. The chirpiest person I've ever met!!

To Vicky Horne...

... Who ran with me every step of the way. Who showed a love for 'the marathon'. Who dragged me through my darkest mile(ssss). Who gave me her Cliff Bloks. Who had BIG news en route and STILL showed the patience of a saint. It's very rare to find someone who is so ballsy and so brave to push people (yes, she does this for anyone who needs it) to achieve their goals, even when it means her own time is sacrificed. We had the same time to the SECOND. What a diamond!!!!

To Epilepsy Action...

It mad such a difference fundraising with a charity. The extra support was fabulous. It's the small things - the name for my top, the handwritten note, the tweets, the press release, the massage at the finish, the warm welcome, the cheer over Tower Bridge... They were brilliant.

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