Its all over, race completed in 4hr 53min.
The day started by leaving the hotel at 7.20am to get the tube from Euston to London Bridge and there was already a few people on walking my way with the red bags. Tube was ok but was a different story at London Bridge, hundreds upon hundreds of fellow runners all queing for the Blackheath train. Managed to squash on one that got us there for about 8.30am. 15min walk up to Greenwich Park and it was there that first hit me as to how big an event this was. Headed for the Blue entrance and went for a sit on the grass near my baggage truck, exchanged texts with some fellow runners and had my lucozade bar and drink. Sat in the early morning sun amongst hundreds of others contemplating what lay ahead. I then recognised a voice over the big PA been interviewed and it was fellow workmate 'Gary from Blackpool'. Handed my bag in at about 9.00 and went for a last wee ! Wandered down to the pens and found pen 8 and thought it seemed really far back (am glad it was now). Was one of the first in and got talking to some other first timers and the officials, it did get very busy in the pens just before 9.45.
At 9.50 I remember saying to one lad next to me, 'its started' and he actually said 'why arent we going then?'. It was good how we were walked up to the roundabout and then the officials ran to the side and we could set off running and be up and running through the start line. Most of the race seems a bit of a blur but points I can remember -
Seeing the man carrying the Tower with it nearly coming off his shoulders early on.
Running past the Olympic shooting place and hearing gunshots.
Seeing my 11 supporters in their rainbow coloured cowboy hats at Cutty Sark, 17 mile and then opposite St Catherines dock at 22miles. It really did give me the extra energy when it ws needed.
I set off trying to touch hands with as many kids as possible that were stood watching that held their hands out, I did this for about 3 miles but then realised I needed to actually concentrate on running and getting into my pace so tried to stay more central in the road.
The bands and music were superb, I especially remember hearing Iron Maidens Run to the Hills blasting out from a pub at about mile 18 and even though I'm not a fan it somehow gave me something extra.
I heard loads of screaming at one stage around me, looked around and next to me was ARG from TOWIE (i only knew it was him from the name on his top and the female supporters screaming at him) I ran for about a mile near him and it was quite good the reaction he got and took my mind of the pain in my legs I think that was around 14-15miles.
I saw 3 people that got tripped by people behind them(all got up)
I remeber it seemed windy around Docklands and dont recall running past Canary Wharf ! I have just seen the Cutty Sark on TV and dont remember even looking at it going past it !
The crowds along the way were immense, the number of people shouting my name ( i tried to wave at everyone that did), the number of people giving out oranges, sweets and water was just unbelieveable.
The drinks stations were fab, really long so you didnt need to dash over straightaway.
The noise going down Birdcage Walk along the river was amazing and then seeing Big Ben appear I knew it wasnt far. The long run down the side of the park where it must have been 6 people deep in places, turning past Buck Palace and then into Pall Mall, I waved at Steve Cram in his box but he didnt wave back, it then seemed to go very quiet for the last few metres as the crowds werent there and you just picked which finish post to go under, I went for middle. Got tag cut off, got medal, got photo with medal, collected bag, took sweaty top off and put clean tshirt on. Met supporters at charity meeting point, more photos, exchanged stories.
It was raining by now so we went to Victoria, had a drink at the station and then all went to Clapham, found a pub and had food and more drink ! Best part and best idea of the whole process was the wearing of the multi coloured cowboy hats by the 11 supporters, I knew approx where they were via text but could see them from quite far back when running towards them (my wifes idea).
Will I do it again ? I honestly dont know, the time was slower than I thought but I dont know what else I could have done except for more training which I didnt want to do. The marathon box is ticked now, Tough Guy in July is next with Northernsouthernmonkee (who is desparate to run the VLM now he's seen it!!!)
Anyway thanks to the 11 cowboys/girls Jo, Lucy, Annie, Martin, Sarah, John, Liz, Simon, Selina, Amy and Darren (who wants to do it aswell). Thanks to Vic who saw me finish on the red button and Ali for supplying supporters with split times and text commentary, thanks to all who sent good luck messages via text and facebook and especially thanks to all who sponsored me - over £1000 for the NSPCC.
This blog was started on October when I found out I was in and according to my Garmin I have done 90 activities, 557miles in 92hrs 28mins and burned 58829 calories.
It may continue but the title will have to change. Goodbye.
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