Where it all began – My first marathon.
Where & When:
London, 2013. The place I’ve come to call home. A place I’d hardly explored.
Why I ran this course:
This was the start of my running journey. A friend and I had previously agreed to sign up to the ballot back in 2008. 5 years later, thanks to Virgin honoring the final year of Flora’s “guaranteed entry on the 5th attempt” I obtained a place in the ballot.
This one needs no explanation. The historical course runs from Greenwich through London and finishing up on the Mall.
Smooth. For such a large event, the organisation really is flawless. From registration, through to race pack collection at the race Exhibition, to the race Village at the start, and post race ceremonies you have everything you could possibly need.
Without doubt the best I’ve ever experienced. After all the lonely training runs, the buzz from the crowd really helps you to run with a smile on your face. A huge number of supporter zones, entertainment along the way and the masses of general public make the atmosphere and incredible experience that will last in your memories.
Medals, bags, T-shirts and all sorts of edible treats!
this was my first time training for a race. I looked at some training plans but didn’t really feel them. So I decided to do only thing I knew to do – lace up my trainers and start running. I’d recently bought some cheap new Asics in the Christmas sales and decided to do a few short runs in the week, one long run on the weekend, gradually upping the distances each week. Nothing more. A few weeks in I was feeling some pain in my Achilles and went to see a physio. A gait analysis and some investigation later and I was advised to get some support trainers. So much for the cheap start. I opted for some Brooks Ravennas and the rest of my training went as planned. Dull.
Race day came around and I was quite intimidated with circa 40,000 runners penned up and setting out from the race village. As the 3 starting routes merge it can be quite congested and I spent a lot of time looking at the floor to avoid tripping on runner debris and obstacles in the road. Coupled with the amazing support and constantly looking out for people I might know, it wasn’t until about mile 17 that I really thought about what I was actually doing. I was able to sustain a fairly consistent pace throughout the run, and powered through two bouts of cramp in my calves around miles 21 and 23. A big highlight was the sloppy Vaseline high five I got from one volunteer around mile 19, certainly appreciated by my nipples at that point!
Having gained a ballot entry, I signed up to raise money for MacMillan Cancer Support. The support from the team leading up to, during and after the race was a huge boost and assistance in me completing that first marathon!
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