I was passed by 4 Rhinos, ( one whom I ran with and got water for, for about a mile) and I felt really inspired by all the messages on peoples backs, and photos of loves ones. The support from the crowd was really uplifting and with all the bad things that happen in the world, this was one of those really positive events that makes you see the good in people as well. Cheesy I know, but that was what I felt.
I had amazing support from the crowds and friends and family, and whilst I know I am meant to cry at the end, my dear friend Jo ( Comerford) had a tear in her eye for me when I met them all at the finish meeting points.
Well I thought I was very disciplined, however I did what so many people had told me not to do. I went off too quick at the start. I kept looking at my watch and thinking ‘ I need to slow down’ but the crowd just takes you.
I was so pleased I was able to meet Julie at the start, and have a chat beforehand (and calmed me down) and also Robbie, - it was great to get a photo of us all together.
I thought the race was very well organised, and there was no panic at the start. I would however say that the queues for the portaloos throughout the race, meant that you just kept running , thinking I’ll go at the next ones, but they were just as bad. I got to 20 miles and had to give in ( sorry too much info, but I share this as I have learnt a few lessons). In my paranoia of getting dehydrated, as it was quite warm, I think I probably drank too much water, on top of the tailwind that I had also in my camelback. Anyway when I finally decided I could wait no longer, I had to wait about 20 minutes for one. My friends that were tracking were all worried I had collapsed, as suddenly I had stopped moving completely.
I would also advise that unless you know London like the back of your hand, ( which my husband didn’t) it is difficult to get to lots of viewing points especially with two kids in tow. I also managed to run past all of them twice even though we had agreed 14 miles, and just before 17 miles to meet and dump the camelback. Consequently I didn’t see them until 19 miles, that they had to leg it to, so as not to miss me again. At which point Jo had joined them and expertly moved them to other positions and the end to see me. I mention this point as for the quicker runners supporters this would be even more of a challenge!
I had an amazing day, and I think friends and family had a good time. They were just blown away at the speed of the Elite runners. Ben has said he would like to do London one day, and asked how long he has to wait.
So on the whole, I think I made some of the classic novice mistakes, and I am annoyed with myself for walking the last 5 miles, as the following day, I was walking fine, using the stairs etc., and know that I could have put more effort in. I think for me, when I got to the 21 point and I had seen a number of people taken ill, I wanted to just make sure I finished without flaking out, so I played it safe. Still another lesson.
I would definitely do London again if I had the opportunity and would consider Southampton, as it’s on the doorstep, but otherwise I think I will be sticking to half marathons as my favoured choice, only because of the time commitment for the training.
Thank you so much for giving me this brilliant opportunity, something I will never forget, was Jo welling up, and my two boys and husband telling me how proud they were of me. Unforgettable!