Earlier this month 54 runners took to the streets of London to run the Virgin London Marathon for LUPUS UK. We’re delighted to say that all those that took part managed to finish the run. We’ve given over our blog to a few of our runners this month so that they could tell you about their day.
“Training for the London Marathon this year was mainly in Shetland where work had sent me for a project! Luckily I managed to find a willing training partner (Stuart) but as the days were quite long and dark by the time we finished work, we ended up doing early morning runs mainly. The hills helped improve my stamina and the views were amazing!
At the weekends I had a mix of training buddies including Bodie (my sister's dog who led me to the motorway on one run when we got a little lost), Scott and Carol (far too quick for me but they kept me going with their chatter) and Justine (an injured friend who was too determined to give up!). My longest run was with Justine at Richmond Park early on Good Friday. We managed 3 loops (21 miles) and rewarded ourselves with sausage butties and lattes! I returned home and promptly launched my JustGiving site, updated my Facebook and Linkedin profiles and added the URL to my email signatures - fund raising had started! I then went to a beer fest in Guildford to celebrate my 21 miles and being such a lightweight, I only managed about 2 pints!
Marathon day was fab! I managed to see so many of my 'framily' on my way round (and at the end). I started the run with Justine and her hubby Andy, we then met Pete at mile 4, I then lost them but Nick (another LUPUS UK runner) found me at about mile 8. We ran together, sharing drinks and stories but then I veered off to find a St Johns Ambulance 'vaseline stop' and lost Nick at about mile 17. I cracked on though (as did he) and managed to cross the line in one piece. About 20 seconds later my mobile phone rang and it was Niall (my boyfriend). He'd followed me on an app and as he knew I'd just finished he wanted to be the first to congratulate me!
London Marathon number 6 done; maybe number 7 is on the cards....”
Lou Cakebread (Pictured Top Left)
“It was hard going. I was so used to training in 3 degrees so the heat was a bit of a shock!! I was doing well until the halfway point, (even got a 5K PB!) but my joints were starting to protest a bit, kind of like my body was questioning why I hadn’t stopped at the half way point! My right knee, where my lupus likes to attack mostly, started to play up a bit, and I found miles 17-19 a struggle, and at mile 22 my leg completely ceased up so I ended up walking 3 miles, the longest 3 miles of my life. Then at 25 I just dug deep and ran the last mile and a bit - it was so tough. I Completed it at 6:30:51 trying not to be disappointed (I had aimed for 5hrs), but lupus hasn’t played fair since November and interfered with my training. I am just over the moon I completed my first ever marathon and didn’t let lupus ruin it for me.
I am thanking myself for the decision to put wooden flooring in the house, with slippers on, the sliding effect is working wonders!”
Cat Thomson (Pictured Top Right)
“On Sunday 21st April my brother Ben and I embarked on our 13th and 11th London Marathons respectively raising money for LUPUS UK. To make the challenge a little harder this year and for a small training run in advance I also completed the Paris Marathon on 7th April. The London Marathon was a fabulous day with incredible crowds and a spectacular atmosphere...there is no Marathon that can compare to it! Ben finished in an amazing personal best time of 3:07:36 and I finished in 3:50:12. We are so proud to run for LUPUS UK and raise funds for the fantastic work that they do. Roll on the 2014 London Marathon and maybe a few other small challenges in between!”
Tamzin & Ben Readman (Pictured Middle)
“The day started at London Liverpool Street Station, where I was meeting my fellow LUPUS UK runner, Danny Inzani and also Laura Burdekin who was running for Wallace and Grommit foundation for sick children and her brother Mark who was meant to be running but had to pull out due to injury.
After a short journey via Bank and the docklands light railway we arrived at Greenwich Park an hour and a half or so before the start of the race.
As the race got under way in sunny and very warm conditions, I started running with Danny (who had both his knees strapped up, but was determined to finish the race) On Danny's wishes I left him after about a mile and progressed nicely on the first seven miles up to the Cutty Sark at Greenwich.
As I have run the London Marathon a previous 11 times for LUPUS UK I was more than aware of what to expect and enjoyed the race until I reached the 14 mile mark where the crowd is a little quieter and my legs a lot heavier, before reaching the euphoric atmosphere at Canary Wharf at about mile 19.
After going through 20 miles it is the simple countdown of 6.2 miles and you are literately carried by the crowd from Wapping to the Embankment and then on to the finish line at the Mall.
I finished in a time of 4.22 and Danny to his great credit finished in a time of 4.55 as when I saw him at the start I had grave doubts with regards to him completing the race.
A fantastic day as always and here's to next year!”
Sean Cavanagh (Pictured Bottom Left)
“Training started in August 2012 to allow myself to build the miles up. I expected it to be cold, wet and even some snow up to the end of January or maybe start of February but then thought , ‘ok we will get some nicer weather by the time the longer runs kick in’; unfortunately no such luck!
Following the advice from the professionals, I had signed up and took part in the Silverstone Half marathon for race practise on 3rd March. This was a good day and the sun even managed to come out for the duration of the race. My day went particularly well and was happy to achieve a PB and felt positive for the main event. Following this success, training continued and before you know it, it’s a week to go and along with the carb loading, the excitement and nerves start to kick in.
I visited the expo day on the Saturday to collect my number and meet the ladies on the LUPUS UK stand and then went home for a well-deserved rest.
The day itself is a pure mix of emotions. The sun came out and so did the crowds in their thousands. It was hard going and they really do keep you going in the difficult times especially in the last few miles when the pain is like nothing you can explain but you just can’t give up; for yourself and also that special person you are running for. For me it was my sister, who has suffered from SLE for over 6 years now, and seeing her with the rest of my family at mile 23 was what I needed to push me to that finish line.
I crossed the line in 5 hours 19 minutes. This was my 3rd year in a row taking part in the London Marathon on behalf of LUPUS UK and every year has been a different and amazing experience that I will never forget. If you are sitting reading this and thinking maybe, just maybe I should have a go.. I say do it. You will not regret it!!!”
Julie Allen (Pictured Bottom Right)
If you'd like to run for LUPUS UK in the London Marathon in 2014, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with your name and address for more information.