Saturday, August 23, 2014

London Marathon 2014

Well who would have ever believed it?! I ran the marathon! WOO HOO! I RAN THE MARATHON!!! 

Scared face on race day!

26.2 full-on miles of blood, sweat and tears combined with a catalogue of amusing and surreal moments. These included: being hosed down by Firemen; being blessed by a Priest; running alongside a herd of 'Rhino'; being over taken by Big Bird at Mile 17 and sobbing my heart out for the final two mile stretch along London's wonderful Embankment and crossing the finish line at Buckingham Palace.

Even though I didn't run the whole way (I jogged/ walked the second perhaps completing the marathon is a more apt expression for my achievement rather than running the marathon... but who cares? I finished!) I am proud of myself for each and every mile I managed to soldier on for and also incredibly thankful for the experience. I never expected the marathon to have such an impact on me as I was, in truth, dreading it. My training didn't go to plan, I had injured my knee and the thought of letting down everyone who had  so generously sponsored me filled me with absolute dread! 

That being said, it was one of the most inspiring and humbling things I have ever done. From the very beginning at the start line the crowd were immensely supportive, they cheered my name and made me feel like a hero the entire way round. The thousands of people running for so many worthy and important causes moved me beyond belief as did the personal stories of heartache from those who were running in memory of a lost loved one. Signs from the crowd with words of encouragement and inspiration, things like, "I don't know you but I am so proud of you" makes you realise that what you are doing is important and that by keeping going you are making a difference. 

Highlights of the 26.2 miles included seeing my family at Mile 14 and Mile gave me the boost I needed to keep going, especially at Mile 21 when everyone is shouting 'only 5 more miles to go!' and you die a little bit inside because you think you aren't going to make it! A smile and hug from a loved one is all you need to keep those legs working (you can actually see the moment I met my Mum and sister at Mile 14 in our video montage)! Seeing the Help the Hospices team dotted round the course was incredible too, Karl and I raised £4000 for them and their support before and on the day was amazing. Whenever they spotted a runner in a Help The Hospices running vest they went crazy cheering for us! Honestly... if you want to experience what it's like being a celebrity just run the marathon! Afterwards on the way home I was being fist-bumped by buskers, praised by groups of teenagers as they admired my medal and high-fived by complete strangers! 

Karl absolutely smashed it and ran the marathon in 3 hrs and 52mins...I'm so proud of him and he even made it onto the TV: 

The build up to the marathon (our training and fundraising efforts) is all documented in a blog I wrote called Vicky and Karl's Mighty Marathon so have a read!

Also, here is a video with some footage from the actual run that I sent round to try and raise some more money. If any of you are thinking of giving it a shot definitely watch the video and remember, you can do anything you put your mind to (and if I can do it then anyone can!) I'm so pleased to be able to tick this one off my list before I hit the big 3-0, and who knows... I'm not ruling out running it again one day! We'll see...

Thank you again to everyone who supported us, you are all amazing. 

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