Saturday – Flew down last night so there wasn’t a frantic rush today. Staying with old uni pals so its nice to catch up as we don’t get to very often. Whilst they were busy I used the opportunity to head over to the Marathon Expo to register. I’m number 33038. Was great to check out the stalls and try lots of new things. I flew down with hand luggage so couldn’t buy shoes but didn’t stop me trying HOKA and Altra Running so a few things to order when I get home. Heard lots about Maurten but never tried the gels. They tasted fab, well there was no taste which was great and my dentist always gives me into trouble for all the gels I use but these are much better. Can’t wait to try them over the next few weeks before the Cateran ultra. Also picked up some h2d socks pig socks for my pig loving youngest. Some tops from 2XU and Pressio, protein cereal from ELEAT, Salt Sticks that are sold out in all the shops near and finally some Skin In Motion by Gia makeup that should stay on when it rains tomorrow. Got some lovely people to take some pics with me in it, selfie with Mo Farrah and finally found my name on the wall.
Time to chill this afternoon so had an easy cycle to London Fields Lido for a fresh 2000m swim in the 50m outdoor pool. Time to chill and get the kit ready now.
Sunday – Marathon day!! What an experience! The day started with me trying to get on the right train to the start. I was supposed to go to Blackheath. Ended up on the wrong train, got off at the next stop to wait for the right train then got on the wrong train again. It was fine as just took me to a different part of the start.
I was in the blue zone so eventually made my way there. Lots of time to spare so decided to join the massive toilet queue first. Turns out 30mins wasn’t enough to get to the front of it. A lovely lady called Lucy held my space whilst I quickly went to the bag drop to get rid of my extra kit. Back to the loo queue and eventually through. Did mean that I was too late to join my start wave but it was ok. Joined the next one and bumped into a fellow Flinger ‘ding ding’.
The weather was typically Scottish, about 10 degrees and raining so just perfect. Quick selfie at the start line and we were off. I didn’t know what pace to run this at given I never run road marathons. I kept getting asked what time I was aiming for but I didn’t have a time other than under 4hrs. Last time I did London was in 2003 (yes, I’m that old) and was running on an undiagnosed stress fracture in my foot. I did that one in 5hrs so could only improve. I just plodded my way round.
I’d hoped to take lots of pictures but the rain had messed with my phone. Twice it decided to screen lock and disable itself for 1hr. I did manage to get a picture of Sam Hammond Veterans’ Foundation who was running the race with a 26kg fridge on his back.
I have so much admiration for him!
The crowds were amazing and kept the motivation. From bands playing to children wanting high 5’s. I had planned on music but didn’t need it with the atmosphere.
Towards the end I realised I could get a sub 3:40 so decided to try push it. I tried so hard and made a last-ditch sprint attempt up the final straight. My result still isn’t through, but it’s recorded on Strava so happened.
I now have the medal and at the airport writing this. Every single person taking part was amazing! Thank you volunteers, spectators and other runners.
If you’ve never done a marathon this is a great first one. For me, I think I’ll go back to the trails. I loved it but so many people and noise. Didn’t know it would stress me so much. Next race is the Cateran trail ultra 55miler in a few weeks.
UPDATE – 6 days later my official result is in 3:36:21