After Palestine ended with DNF, I was hoping this one was going to end with GFA but it wasn’t to be!
I started the race with Elizabeth Adams, a fellow Eagle who did sub 4 in last year’s London Marathon which got her a GFA place last Sunday. We both set off from the Green Start and it was brilliant running with her. We were on track for the first 17 miles or so but I just couldn’t keep up that pace. Elizabeth went on ahead and I ended up run/walking towards the finish and crossing the line in just under 4:20. When I realised I wasn’t going to get sub-four, I decided to try and make the most of the experience rather than letting disappointment colour it. I felt like I gave it my all and I’m really pleased to get my first post-treatment marathon out of the way! In retrospect my training just wasn’t consistent enough; that felt like the hardest marathon I’ve ever done. Maybe treatment has taken more out of me than I realise, and I’m not as strong as I think I am. But I ran a marathon on Sunday, and that’s no small achievement.
As anyone who has done it will tell you, the support on the course was incredible. So many people yelled my name at me, that it was hard to spot people that I actually knew, so apologies if I missed you. I saw Jonny, Harry, Grace and Meg around mile 10 (I think) which is where Jonny took this picture. I loved the drummers and the bands dotted along the route, particularly the brass band playing Glenn Miller which reminded me of my dad. Running over Tower Bridge was an iconic moment, but I was amazed how many people stopped to take pictures. Going past the Eagles at Mile 23 was emotional and I made sure I was definitely running for that.
My sister Mandy finished in 4:25, a PB by over 35 minutes, and we met on the Mall afterwards to swap stories. Three days on my legs are starting to feel more normal and I’m looking forward to running for the sheer joy of it again.