Nearly two weeks on I can finally reflect on what an incredible experience it was to be part of the London Marathon 2014! I had two goals in the run up to the big day. The first was to raise £,1000 for the Bob Champion Cancer Trust, and the second to run a sub 4 hour marathon.
The sponsorship achievement came after many emails, Facebook and twitter posts galore, and talking to as many people as I could – I didn’t even have to do a cake sale to get money from colleagues! I cannot express enough thanks to everyone who dug into their pockets to sponsor my efforts. I’m sure my office colleagues are fed up of me jumping up and down with delight every time another JustGiving email alert came through. Currently my total stands at £1,532.10 and it’s still rising!
My second achievement, that of a sub 4 hour marathon was not an easy task. I wanted to aim for this early on in my training, but on one long run in March I had a stitch for 6 miles, which led me to worry that this was an unrealistic goal. I needed to run 9 minute mile pace over 26.2 miles. I was strict in my pacing which was particularly hard in the initial half of the marathon when I felt I could be running faster, but my pace paid off, and I seemed to be able to hold this pace well in to the second half. Around the mile 20 marker the 3:56 pacers over took me though, so I knew I had to keep them in sight for 6 more miles. These miles had physical and mental highs and lows. At points I felt like I was running through treacle in order to keep the pacers in sight.
Luckily seeing Janet (thank you for the power porridge!) Diane, Sarah and Natasha from Central Health cheering me on gave me extra energy! Then near mile marker 25 my boyfriend Phil, and Triathlon club friends Laura, Helen, Lauren and Zoe all gave me a final boost. So a huge thank you to everyone for your support which truly helped me achieve my 3:57 time.
After the run I was welcomed by a fantastic team from the Bob Champion Cancer Trust, namely Kate, Lucy and Bob himself who even took a selfie of us! I was given hugs, champagne and chocolate, how perfect! Meeting the four other runners who also raised money for the BCCT was a great team feeling. Apparently it has been suggested that next year I run in a horse costume, but pretty sure I’m busy that day! 😉