Last minute London Marathon tips from a reluctant first-timer
- Credit: Archant
I have always been a reluctant runner, but have also always wanted to say I have run the London Marathon, so I felt a mix of dread and destiny calling when an email in October 2012 told me I had a place in the following year's event.
It consigned me to six months of ever-lengthening runs through the winter rain and snow, but although my training didn't always go to plan, my excitement was stronger than my apprehension when I finally took my place at the back of the field in Blackheath. It had been a strange few days following the Boston Marathon bombing.
I was surprised how much I enjoyed the first 13 miles: high-fives from kids in Lewisham, Japanese drums near mile six, strangers reading my name off my T-shirt and shouting support. When I crossed Tower Bridge I couldn't help grinning - it was a sight I remembered from childhood TV coverage. I even kept tweeting, and the replies gave me a huge boost.
For me, the second half was the true challenge. The crowds and other runners thinned out around Canary Wharf, the wind seemed colder, my knees hurt and I was entering unknown territory. The doubt set in.
Mile 23 was the turning point - I finally knew I would complete the course, and from no-where tears welled up in my eyes. Soon after a banner overhead read: 'Run if you can. Walk if you must. But finish for Boston.' I did.
You may also want to watch:
As a runner who failed to crack the six hour barrier, I don't have any athletic tips to pass on. But do write your name on your T-shirt. Be aware your running app can mislead you about your pace. And do soak up the atmosphere, it's great. Come Monday I will be entering the ballot for 2015, and I still don't like running.
- 1 Son's plea for help as mum, 87, goes missing from care home
- 2 Covid Delta variant cases double in Norfolk
- 3 This charming village pub is worth travelling to from across Norfolk
- 4 Hundreds of volunteers search for missing 87-year-old Margaret Smith
- 5 Man in critical condition after Norwich assault
- 6 Weather warning for thunderstorms this week after Monday heat
- 7 Broads pub with 'bags of potential' for sale for £375,000
- 8 Family's distress as Covid rules force double-jabbed mother into isolation
- 9 Woman airlifted to hospital following equestrian accident in Beccles
- 10 'I can't carry it' - Shock as plant starts growing eight inches a day