After a lovely couple of chilling days in Barnes with our friend Mummy Bear (Sue Adams!) we moved to the hotel on Saturday lunchtime.
Checked into the Cumberland Hotel on Marble Arch (very nice indeed) - got all my kit ready, chip on my shoe, number on my shirt and laid it all out ready.
Went a little way down Oxford St for a little retail therapy..not a lot, it was quite hot!
Met up with friends in the Bar, Steve (London cab driver and fellow Channel swimmer) and Beryl & David from the West country and they joined us and the Jersey Variety team for dinner - in Prezzo just over the road from the hotel - lovely food and great company.
Bed at 10 - got my plasters and compede oll on my toes ready for the morning - they stick better the night before..
RACE DAY - yes, my very first 'RACE' was going to be the London Marathon - much to Annette's delight!
Up at 6am - breakfast at 6.15 - porridge & coffee
Team photos in Kit outside hotel before Bus collection at 7am..
Off to the 'Blue start' on Black Heath - drove along quite a bit of the course..scary!
arrived about 8am - and found a place to relax - chat - drink water -a nd get nervous/excited while watching everyone also get nervous /ready / excited - lots of funny costumes and people around - adn the TV commentary was great too..lots of texts from all in Jersey....all good.
Charlie was on 'Ground Control' and texting all who wanted to know on my progress -
BUT the weather looked like it was gonna be warm....
Start time in the 'pens' was 9.45am...we were all in different 'pens'- I was in the last pen (9) with Sam Logan..
off we went - with the crowds - 47,000 entries....39.000 + on the start lines I believe (TBC)
and we were off....
The crowds were amazing; very emotional - everyone calls your name all day long...
just after 3 miles - my 'bum-bag' broke - disaster!!!!! it had my gels, goodies, music, phone, tissues & camera! I had to then carry it and hope that I saw Charlie soon!
Everyone was correct! The crowds and music along the course were fab! - the showers were even better!
The day got hotter; and met up with Charlie at Greenwich (just passed the Cutty Sark) - gave him my bag after taking gels and supplies out and shoving them down my bra and knickers! not brilliant but the best I could do..
carried on - many people were already walking in the heat so I didn't feel so bad when I did...
2 hours and my toes were playing up already - but tried to take my mind off it all..all my pain killers etc were in my bag! oh well - gotta get on without it!
met all sorts of brave people;and saw rhino's tigers, apples,dinosaurs, bears, ducks, testicles (yes - testicles!) all sorts of people dressed up in so many silly costumes - and I thought I was mad!!! Oh no not me!
At 12 miles - saw Charlie again - and he had fixed my bag!!!! YAY! re-arranged everything in it and off I trotted....was enjoying it now..
Popped into the loo just before the 13 mile marker;
Asked St John's Ambulance for extra vaseline on my toes....that really helped..they stand there all day along the route with rubber gloves and vaseline..lovely! I believe that Mike Bushell from BBC Breakfast accidentally ate some nearer the end of the course, thinking it was a sweet! YUK! Glad I didn't do that!
Saw Anna Tredant just after Tower Bridge; that was nice to see her
- but after this, this was the worst place as we were being passed by everyone running really fast on the other side - and then we saw the 22 mile marker on the other side!!! OMG - sole destroying! but; we had to get on with it - towards the Isle of Dogs...this was hard going..not many people to talk to but the crowds and bands were good...
Anyway, by the time I saw Charlie at 19 miles - it was hot and I was power walking; I had met 'Debbie from Welwyn' by this stage who was having problems with her hips so we chatted and stayed together and kept each other going till the end.
After another couple of miles, we were both power walking and helping each other through the miles - counting them down along with the crowds and children - and at 24 miles we hit the Tunnel near the embankment - NEARLY HOME!
we picked up our pace and marched on towards the Embankment - on which we saw Charlie, Steve and Clarky! what a lovely sight! wish I had pinched her banana though!!!!!
onwards now - not far to go - met another lady - Sri Leka who was struggling so we all walked together and finshed together!
That was the longest mile of my life!
BUT WE DID IT!
I FINISHED IN 7 HOURS 35MINS AND 35 SECS
LADY NUMBER: 12,142nd! and
706th in my age group 50-54yrs.
I had only started training on January 16th...
I have my medal - and my t'shirt - and only one small blister!
Charlie, Steve and Clarky met me after I had collected my medal and bag - and then we got a cab (thanks to Steve) back to the hotel - and met up with all the team who had all finished and shared stories of the day..
What a long and very hard day it was too.
Did I enjoy it? yes - never planned to run it all so I enjoyed most of it.
Will I do it again? doubtful - UNLESS I can get the toe problems sorted out!!!!
So that's it - I have done the London Marathon....and all I can say to those who REALLY want to do something in life, find someone who has done it well and knows what to do; get their help & advice and listen - and DO IT!
That's what I did.
THANK YOU to Annette Campbell for all your advice and help;
and my running training buddies - Chantelle Rose, Cliff Golding - it has been great fun!
THANK YOU also to Charlie; he was brilliant yesterday as Ground Control to everyone, updating my whereabouts to all interested people..
Annette has voted him Supporter of the day too!
- and very WELL DONE to ALL those who also completed the Marathon yesterday especially Lisa Biddlecombe, Sam Logan, Janine Ingle, Peter Blampied, Jono & Adam from the RNLI, all the Variety Runners among others - well done to EVERYONE!
WE ALL EARNED OUR MEDALS YESTERDAY!
what next........watch this space...
Thanks and although my page is going well, it is still not too late to donate tho..
Let's see how much more we can raise!