This was my 2nd London Marathon – last year was a nightmare for me and I hated every minute of it! So I entered again with the main aim to enjoy it more, to take in the sights and to smile!!
Sunday morning, the weather was nice and cool, no sun – already different to last year. I made my way to the green start, feeling positive, happy and chatting to random strangers. The atmosphere was great and I bumped into one of my best friends and rival IWRR, Elaine Harris. We had a laugh and a chat and did a bit of celeb spotting, and then we were off!
I crossed the start just under 3 minutes after the gun and kept up a steady pace (around 9 minute miles) for the whole race. I took in all the sights this year, Cutty Sark, Tower Bridge where the noise was phenomenal, then it was halfway and I was looking out for hubby and son (who I spotted), Sarah and Abi and two friends from work (who I didn’t).
Mile 13 to 14 were quite exciting as the faster runners are going in the opposite direction, miles 14 to 17 are a bit tricky as you feel you’re going in the wrong direction (away from the finish), 21 to 22 I felt thankful I was this far – there were lots of runners on the opposite side of the road (mile 13 to 14) going in the opposite direction.
Then I saw my friends from work at about mile 21, standing on a wall screeching at me but it was great to see them. I couldn’t wait for mile 22 where I knew my family were standing and then it was only 4 miles to go.
The last time I checked my watch was mile 20 (3:01:45) and I decided not to look again until I’d crossed the finish line. I felt strong for the last 6 miles and mile 26 was my fastest, I overtook 971 runners in the last 4.5 miles with only 73 passing me (I didn’t count them, London Marathon send these stats with your results!). The embankment was so exciting with Big Ben ahead, round the corner on to Birdcage Walk, past Buckingham Palace and there’s the finish. I could see the clock 4:02 with the seconds ticking on, I “sprinted” this last bit and felt like Paula! 3:59:52 – just made it.
I loved it this year, what a fantastic day and those 8 seconds means I can run it again next year and the year after…
Sunday evening – I’ll leave the London Marathon there, one bad one, one fab one, no more.
By Tuesday – Perhaps I’ll have another go the year after next.
Today – Maybe I will have another bash next year after all!!