I ran a marathon today!
I did it in four hours and thirty two minutes which I don’t think is too shoddy especially considering I had a baby ten months ago.
It was a complete mix of emotions that started the night before and exploded into a well of tears as I finally crossed the finish line complete with sunburn at half past two.
The night before was spent at a pasta party; please note whilst there was an abundance of pasta the party atmosphere never really kicked in! Still I ate till I felt nauseous putting as much fuel in the tank as possible. Then me and three girlfriends headed off to our ‘hotel room on a budget’ where after some reflexology to encourage bowels to empty before the start, many giggles and buckets of vaseline I finally bedded down on my top bunk.
The race itself was emotional; everywhere I looked I saw runners who were running for a lost loved one, a grandfather and granddaughter running duo, and Spiderman, Batman, Woody and three rhinos. I ran most of the way with my friend who lost her mother to cancer two years ago and just that experience proved to me the great lengths people will go to to raise money for a charity to try and make the world a better place.
I ran for a little boy who received a stem cell transplant from the Anthony Nolan trust two years ago. I ran for him before when he was poorly; it gave me great pride to run today for a healthy five year old boy whilst knowing I was collecting pennies to help other families have a success story to tell like Seth and his parents.
Whilst running the first sixteen miles I had huge empathy with fried eggs; the sun was unforgiving and bore down on us from the heavens. Great for the crowd, not so nice for us daft runners who had trained all through the winter to be rewarded with mild sun stroke on marathon day.
Seeing my kids and their impressive banner at miles 14 and 22 made me sob like a baby and gave me a nice boot in the backside to ensure I kept moving.
The last four miles became a battle with my inner walking demon. I longed to stop and hobble across embankment but continued to yell at myself unrelentlessly. When it got really hard I thought of Seth and the months he spent in hospital and it pushed me on, if a four year old can do that then surely I can run a little further. I must admit I also thought that should I stop to walk it would take even bloody longer to finish and I was fed up.
Big Ben signalled the start to the end and finally my sweaty blistered feet were bouncing on the mall. A sob threatened to overtake me as spectators on all sides screamed my name urging me forward.
800 yards felt longer than the previous 25.6 miles until suddenly I looked up to see the end within spitting distance. I raised my arms into a glory stance and sailed over the line where I promptly stopped and cried.
I did it; I did what I wasn’t sure I could ever do again.
I am a marathon runner.
I have also raised over two and a half thousand pounds for a charity I really believe in – www.anthonynolan.org
I am now completely knackered…