A minute after completing my first ever Marathon…
On Sunday, 23rd April I completed the London Marathon!
It’s been two weeks since I run the London Marathon and in the meantime I also completed a ‘marathon’ of exams during the first week of May. This post is my Marathon Update from the days leading to the marathon and the actual Marathon day. I would like to thank once again everyone that sponsored me and Spinal Research UK. Your warm wishes were in my mind during the toughest parts of the race and kept me going! For those of you that still wish to donate, you can find my fundraising page here.
The lead up to the Marathon Days
Trying to carb-load the 3 days prior to the race was quite fun to start off with but turned out to be a bit challenging as I still had to study for my upcoming exams and a pasta food comma was not fit for studying…It somehow though, all worked out in the end.
I picked up my bib on the Friday from the London Marathon expo. The expo was fairly quiet thankfully as I made sure to get there first thing in the morning. A great experience and atmosphere that made me even more excited about running the marathon! The expo had a lot of product stands and also had activities where you could win money for your chosen charity. I was very pleased that I managed to strike for Spinal Research! I left the expo with a goodie bag of several products (that I munched on the next few days…).
The night prior to the marathon I made sure to get a good night’s rest. As most of you will know by now, I decided to run the London Marathon back in October to support Spinal Research UK. I thankfully had my amazing friend, Alice give me a rigorous training plan and I managed to run 8 long runs (>21km) prior to running the marathon. This set me in a very good mental position to run the distance without worrying whether or not I would cross the finish line but rather to enjoy it! I am not sure if it was my preparation that kept me calm or the idea that the marathon would be a fairly easy task compared to my upcoming ‘marathon’ of exams…
The Marathon Day
I headed to the starting line by 9:20 am and started the race about an hour later. It was great to chat to fellow runners and hear their reasons why they were running the marathon. There were runners in their 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, and 70s. It was an incredible feeling running alongside so many runners and along the way it somehow felt like a big running party!
Running alongside over 40,000 runners it meant we started off the first few miles not having enough space to run and although this improved as we went along, in many parts, the roads were too narrow to accommodate the number of runners. This meant that when some of the runners stopped and walked instead of running there was no space to overpass them and keep a steady pace. Despite this, my marathon data analysis showed that by 35km I had passed 10,282 runners!
The crowd along the way was an incredible motivator and there were numerous sites to get hold of water and Lucozade while people were offering jelly babies and orange slices!
I was lucky to have family and friends cheering me along the way and although I didn’t manage to see them all in the crowd, I knew they were there for me and that kept me going!
My finish time was 04:20:23!
Overall this was a great experience, I challenged myself though training for and running the actual race but most importantly I was able to raise awareness and money for Spinal Research, UK! With only two weeks left to meet my fundraising goal (23rd May), I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all once again for your support, it really means a lot to me!
The question everyone asked after I completed the race was if I will be running the London Marathon next year? Well if you asked me two weeks ago, I would have probably said no, no time for marathon training on my final year of university…
…But just as I said I would not be running the London Marathon next year (or any other marathon on my final year of university) my brother convinced me to enter the Ballot…So come October 2017, I will have to inform you on whether next year I will be taking up this challenge for the second time!