Time for a report on Sunday. The photo was taken at 22.5 miles - sums up everything about the day!
As I left the house at 6.15 the temperature was below freezing, and I was wondering if I was wearing the right clothes - a short sleeved top did not feel right! Arrived at Blackheath at 8 - and it was still absolutely freezing, my teeth were chattering. And that was wearing an old sweatshirt of my husband's that reached practically to my knees, and a jacket. So many friendly people, all reassuring each other and chatting. A lovely atmosphere.
The time to the start passed quite quickly - it is amazing how many times you can go to the toilet in 2 hours! (And there were plenty of toilets too). And then we were off. Right from the very beginning the crowd support was fantastic. People cheering, clapping, bands playing, choirs singing, music blasting. (The smell of barbecues is a bit off putting though ... 😉)
The weather did get a bit warmer, and actually in the end was pretty much perfect running weather, although personally I would have liked a little more sunshine. At about 10km my right knee was hurting - oh no! But you just cannot think of that when you still have so many more miles to go, so I thought about anything but... My family, my sisters (especially my sister who has Type1 and is a major reason I run for JDRF). I looked around at all the incredible people who have trained just as I have - for months in the cold, the dark, the rain, and how much money people have collectively raised for charities. I looked at the spectators cheering on complete strangers as if we were all best buddies. By the way - ALWAYS get your name on your top - that is my top tip! When I was feeling tired I ran a bit closer to the crowd and then lots of people shout your name and you get a bit lighter in your step.
Anyway - at the point of the photo I was completely exhausted, my legs were hurting and I was wondering if I could actually get to the end - and then I saw my friends and family by the road - who had waited for hours and hours! I hugged every single one of them, and said I didn't think I could do it in under 5 hours ( which was my target) - yes yes they said - and off I went. A quick glance at my watch and I thought if I kept up the pace I might just about do it.
I felt like I was sprinting- a look at my trusty Garmin told me no! But finally the Mall was in sight - then the finish line - and then it was over! 4:58:12 - I am very happy with that!
It is a wonderful, exciting, amazing experience. But I really will not being doing it again!