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LONDON MARATHON 2018: DID IT!!! :D

LONDON MARATHON 2018: DID IT!!! :D

I'm afraid this is an extremely long post, but here's a spoiler:

LONDON MARATHON 2018: DID IT!!! :D

Well, that was a crazy experience!

First there was the Expo, that was nuts. I picked up my number and timing chip within minutes, and then wandered around for a bit thinking ooh that's expensive :) I went and said hello at the Alzheimer's Society stand - I'm fundraising for my 100K, and actually got a couple more donations in the days leading up to VMLM. Then I sat down and watched some of the presentations - that Martin Yelling is good isn't he?

Then there was the accommodation! It's been a while since I stayed in a hostel or slept in a bunk bed, a very long while... This place (the VIA hostel in Lewisham) was actually amazing, a big old white-painted pile with lovely gardens, full of VMLM runners and a random group of Dutch rugby-playing children. I'd booked it yonks ago in case we couldn't stay with our friends in Maze Hill (which would have been convenient but I didn't really want to stay with them anyway, I don't like dragging other people into my pre-marathon ritual!), it was cheap as chips, and only a 10 minute walk to the start, and I met a nice man there called Duncan Anderson who was very chatty, and fast (chip time 03:24:05!). But apart from that I got very little sleep: there were lots of noisy people about, and a loud snorer in my room. But then who sleeps the night before a marathon? Well, the snorer did :)

Anyway, who cares? The next day I was off in the sunshine to the Blue Start at Blackheath. Such a beautiful day, it was already really warm by 9am! There was a peaceful scene at the heath with a brass band playing "Donkey Riding" and people sitting around on the grass chatting cheerily. I got into my starting pen, which for some reason was number 4, honestly I have no idea what I'd put as my predicted time! And after several weeks we were away!!

The start of the London Marathon gives you no clue about what's to come. It was quiet, and we were running on gently downhill roads, passing through townlets where there were a lot of spectators and music, but still we hadn't seen nothing yet! It was warm, and I passed a group of firefighters in full gear, and a man in a suit of armour!!! I hope they were OK (update: just saw a video on Twitter of the firemen coming through the finish). I'd carried a bottle of water from the start, but I was gasping for the first water station. I hear that some of the water stations ran out towards the end of the race, shades of Brighton last year, but I was fine, and had a drink at most of the stations. Also orange Lucozade, which always tastes like manna from heaven to me during a race. Oh, and here's a tip for you - Gaviscon tablets with Lucozade is an absolute taste sensation!! :D

Talking of tablets, here's my pain story. As you may be aware, I've had a bad problem with a tight, sore soleus muscle for the past 6 weeks, and I ran the Brighton Marathon last weekend, so my leg was not great at the start of the VMLM. In fact I wasn't sure whether I could run, hadn't dared try! Why didn't I defer my entry? I have no real idea, but I just didn't want to :) So I had paracetamol with my breakfast (steered clear of ibuprofen due to the heat), and again at 11am and 2pm. Also some caffeine in the form of chocolate covered coffee beans a couple of times. All this helped keep me going I think. My strategy was most definitely walk-run, and although my leg didn't feel all that much worse later in the day, inevitably under that beating sun the walking breaks took longer and became more frequent :( Still, today my leg seems to be about the same as it was after Brighton, which doesn't sound brilliant, but as I had feared that the muscle tightness might turn into an actual injury I'm calling it a result! And of course I actually finished, which was definitely a result :)

So, what about the London Marathon experience? Overwhelming is the word! Sore leg aside, there wasn't any part I didn't find fun. I don't know London very well at all, so I can't name many of the areas I passed through, but I loved the more villagy bits to the East, and I even enjoyed the Isle of Dogs part (I've heard it being complained about!). I loved all the wharves and quays, and the ups and downs, and the DLR trains whizzing overhead. When we passed through Canary Wharf and in and out of the City of London, when the buildings get tall and loom over you - it's breathtaking! I think the highlights had to be (and I'm sure I'm not alone in thinking) Cutty Sark, which at 10K is an important landmark, and then, just before the halfway point nothing could have prepared me for the majesty of turning a corner to be confronted by Tower Bridge rearing up before me!! But perhaps more astonishing was the size, presence, and sheer NOISE of the crowds. As with Brighton, the music was wonderful. I can't remember too much, but there were several reggae and blues singers, some wonderful jazz brass bands, a choir singing that Pharrell Williams song Happeeeeeee, and some super-loud drum bands. I heard "Donkey Riding" being reprised by a Morris band, which made me laugh a lot. There were lots of smiles to be had from my fellow runners too, I had a fair few pats on the back from other people in Alzheimer's Society vests, and for a long while I was running with a man dressed as Jesus Christ in a loin cloth and bare feet (ouch), complete with crown of thorns and a cardboard cross! I'm not religious myself, but he was VERY popular :) People were calling out my name again, which helped me keep my head up, and a smile upon't.

But I'm not going to lie, with all my struggles the best bit of all was to turn onto the Mall and try to pick up my pace for the finish!! There were all these signs saying 800m to go, 400m to go... never have I ran such a long 200m. Anyway, I sprinted under one of the finishing arches (well, I did me best). And I was done!! Medal, came over dizzy and looked for somewhere to sit, managed just in time to swerve a poor man vomiting copiously, got my goody bag (lovely goodies! Great t-shirt!!), sat to consume some lentil crisps voraciously.

LONDON MARATHON 2018: DID IT!!! :D

Unfortunately I ended on a bit of low. Trying to escape the 'meet and greet' area at the end was tricky, and just as I eventually got my bearings and started walking to Victoria Station, I found I had to queue up to cross a temporary bridge. I couldn't handle the queue, got really hot and felt faint. Some kind people helped me through the barrier and got a marshal to bring the St John's Ambulance people over. They kept me in their tent for a bit (I got a wheelchair ride across the course!! How embarrassing, but also kind of cool :) ), made me eat and drink and put my feet up. My blood pressure had dropped too low, and by the time I was discharged I had missed my pre-paid for train. But never mind, and they were really lovely :) I got home eventually, and even managed a pint in our local!

My time was 5:15:11 which I'm not especially proud of, but at least it wasn't a personal worst :D I'm definitely entering the ballot again.

Today I feel pretty fine, my leg was extremely sore when I woke up, and I can feel some compensation pain in my right quad (I'm guessing that's what it is - I had it after Brighton too, and my quads don't usually bother me). But after painkillers and moving around a bit it feels OK. I was a little concerned for my ultramarathon (it's in five weeks!! :D ) re. the low blood pressure thing, but I think the memory will just make me more careful to eat and drink well on the day. My leg will be better by then, because I know what to do about it now. And I also think that getting through the two marathons with a bad leg means I'm a bit of a BADASS!!! And I feel really Happeeeeeee :)

Oh, and by the way did I mention that...

LONDON MARATHON 2018: DID IT!!! :D

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Truly amazing.

Nothing else to say really.

Amazing.

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:) Thank you!! xx

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I am freaking out about how AWESOME you are 👏👏👏👏 Congratulations 🥇🥇🥇🥇

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Gosh! Thank you!! xx

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You are inspirational!! Two marathons in two weeks is amazing but add to that an injury and the heat makes it extraordinary! Huge congratulations!

It is funny you mentioned your low blood pressure as I think this happened to me. After I crossed the finish line, I drunk a bottle of water whilst getting the medal, banana, t shirt and goody bag. Then I met hubs at the meeting point while eating a banana. We walked over to the charity tent for pictures and a chat whilst eating a snickers bar. Then we wandered towards the shopping area and I saw some of running group. Whilst having a chat in the sun I came over a bit wobbly and had to sit down in the shade. I had drunk a bottle and half of water and had sweets, snickers and banana so wondered if my blood pressure had dropped as I had not actually sat down after finishing! Fortunately I was fine again after sitting for 5 minutes!

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Thank you rfd!!! xx (the phone corrected first to "Todd", and then to "Eddie" :D ).

Could be. My BP is usually on the low side of normal, so it's relatively easy for it to drop too low - how about yours?

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My bp is fairly normal but I discounted dehydration as I had had water and hypoglycaemia as I had eaten. It was my only thought.

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Oh my word, that is amazing, you are amazing, that medal deserves to be on a plinth, I think you’re allowed to be a bit woozy after such exertion! (the yucky feeling aside) , me and OH were watching on the tv.........we clocked the info re when the ballot opens for next year........😉

Well if a certain celeb can have a predicted time of finishing in 6 and a half hours, (and didn’t.....i’ll keep my thoughts to myself on that) carrying a set of inflatable lungs......then there is a marathon in me....man what have I said? 🤭.....(London that is)

Well done roseabi 👏, you are a star 🏃‍♀️🏅👍

Mx

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Thank you Madge!! xx It is fabulous... :)

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Fantastic well done.

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Thanks, Bec xx

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What a lovely report to read! I can't believe you did 2 marathons in quick succession, and with a sore leg. Congratulations!

Reading this took me right back 2 years, when it was the coldest London marathon compared to this year which was the hottest! The atmosphere at London is so amazing, and you have written such a great report that I might even be tempted to have another go...!

Good luck with your ultra - I cannot imagine how you will do it but I am sure you will!

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Aw, thank you, EatCake!! Do it :)

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Wow.

Just wow.

x

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Thanks Anne! xx

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Congratulations Roseabi!! What a great report. And a free ambulance ride to boot! Glad you are ok, all things considered. Even the CBC here covered the worries regarding the heat at the London event. They mentioned the guy in armour and another running in ski boots!!?? I wonder if they finished. Overall though, it sounds like a full-on adventure! The views sound amazing and I can sort if picture some of it from a trip there many moons ago.

Hope your blood pressure stays up for your Ultra. I guess this is a good rough in for what to prepare for later on.

As always, I am completely blown away by what you have accomplished. Really well done!

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Oh wow, I passed the ski boots guy, forgot about him til you said that! He wasn't looking too happy :(

Definitely a good rough in, I am happy! Thank you, Decker!! xx

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Ski boot would just wreck your legs, wouldn't they... I mean they're hard enough to do about 10 paces in!!

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Gosh yes! I went skiing once, and the boots really hurt my shins, I'd forgotten...

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“A bit of a badass”? A bit of an understatement! I think Ultimate Badass is a more appropriate title. Huge congratulations on your amazing accomplishment. We’re in awe 💕

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Oh wow, thank you Gabby!! xx

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You’re an inspiration xx

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Baddest ass no doubt!

Brilliant post you've almost, only almost, tempted me to the ballot myself (couldn't handle the crowds) even though only the slimmest chance of getting in.

Can't wait to hear about your ultra.

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Thanks Annie!! xx I must admit I thought that earplugs might have come in handy from time to time :)

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You are truly amazing and that is a smashing read. It does sound amazing that a tiny bit of me thought I might like to do it, but that was fleeting!!! Rest that body of yours ready for your next big adventure.... and well done!!!!

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Aw, thanks ju-ju :) xx

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What a fab run report roseabi! I cannot believe you managed to run London a week after Brighton and with a bad leg! You are an absolute inspiration!☺ Thank you for sharing the whole experience on here- I would love to be successful in the ballot for next year..we shall see! Rest up weĺl and good luck with your Ultra - you very brave (whispers "mad") lady! ☺

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Thank you Sandra!! :D xx Good luck with the ballot :)

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Congratulations, what a brilliant day. I would be over the moon with that time - but am not quite in your class. Hope you are now recovered. The low BP is probably a one off and more related to exercising in that level of heat for so long. Once the blood vessels supplying the important bits you needed to keep running were allowed to rest, all the others would have become very dilated to cool you down.

You must have an incredible collection of bling.

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Thank you!!! xxx

The medals I have received so far this year have each been of increasing size, and if this trend continues I may be struggling for space!

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Bravo Roseabi!!!

Nobody can take that away from you, ever! I know most of the areas you've run through and the enormity of it is, well, it's enormous.

I will attempt my first HM soon and guys like you keep me on my toes.

Go you!

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Thank you mrrun! xx I love your username btw, although my phone wanted you to be 'Martin' :)

And go you too!!

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A result of mistakes, misuse and lack of capital letters and space bar and pressing 'save' before checking. ;)

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It's like a rapper name :)

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Hahaha! Yo, safe!

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Wow... Great post . Great run. Awesome runner.

You are a total inspiration.

Congratulations... you DID IT!!!! x

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Aw, thanks Floss!!! xx

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Great post and very well done, glad you picked up after your little wobble. So in awe of anyone who does marathons. Look after yourself. Rfc x.

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Thank you Rfc, and I will :) xx

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Great experience thanks for sharing, well done 😊

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Thanks Mike!! xx

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Wow you are super AMAZING roseabi ! congratulations!!!!! brilliant report and 2 marathons in two weekends is no mean feat so extra kudos for that!!1 :)

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Wow, thank you Ali!!! xx

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Wow!!! Amazing is definitely an understatement!

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Aw thanks Sas!!! xx

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Brilliant post Rose :) How I envy your great run :) You did MAGNIFICENTLY! 😘

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Aw gosh!! Thank you John!!! xx

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Excellent account. Very well done. You're on a marathon bonanza!!! Keep on running.

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Good morning m'lord - welcome to the forum! And thank you very much!! :) xx

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Fantastic! So much admiration and under less than ideal conditions for a distance like that but well done ... savour every moment ... frequently! :-) x

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Thank you!! xx I must say I can't stop thinking about it :)

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LEGEND. 😀

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Goodness I'm getting a big had reading these comments! Thank you so much, Nic!! xx

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You need to change your name to AwesomeAbi :) You are amazing! What an achievement! Running one mara is a huge achievement but running two and with a doubtful leg? Fantabulous!

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Gosh darn it, thank you Murph!! xx

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Well done that's amazing and made even harder by doing back to back marathons, so the fatigue, niggling injury and the heat you truly did quite well.

Glad to see you got a decent t-shirt and your report well epic! (content and length)!

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Hehe, when I get started I can't stop! Well, except for fig rolls :) Thanks Ben!! xx

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I will of course enter the ballet but if i dont get in then i will go and marshall with my running club on tower bridge, it looks such a fun day!

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That will be lovely, everyone is SO happy on Tower Bridge! Or of course you could be a happy runner - win win :)

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only happy up to 30km on marathons !

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Oh yeah, Mr I've-Retired-From-Marathons 😉

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I can enter the london ballet knowing full well i will never get in!

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Brilliant, fantastic, totally amazing...and an ultra in sight too?! I have to admit I was looking out for you on TV and a few of my club running comrades...and one of the dad's from my school too. I also looked on the VMLM website. They give so much information! I found the photos and it looked like you were smiling an awful lot during the run. So nice to see. Very well done! 👏👏👏👏😎🍰

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Aw! Thank you Sandy!!! xx I'm scared to look at the photos, but I'm glad they caught me smiling - actually it was easy as I did smile a lot! There are some videos on the BBC iPlayer of people coming through the finish and I saw myself on there :)

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Fantastic! Brilliant acheivement!!! I was there cheering on my stepson but I was also cheering all of you amazing people. It was sooooo hot but such a fab vibe. Many many congratulations!!!! Enjoy your recovery now 🥇🏆👍🏻👍🏻

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Thank you Biddy!! xx Hope you and your stepson had a good day?

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We did thanks! He did well 4.37. His 3rd London and 5th all together so really proud of him. My legs were aching from just standing and cheering so goodness knows how all of you felt. I didn't dare complain 😂😂

Tempted to apply for next year 😬 It looks so awesome. Been trying to check out the flattest uk one to try first 😂😂😂 think it's Manchester.

Well done again 👍🏻🥇

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Wow, that's awesome! Well done, stepson!! I don't mind you complaining, at least we got water thrown over us at intervals, and we ran in and out of shade :) And thank you again!!!

Well, it's very easy to enter the ballot... :D

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😬👍🏻

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You definitely nailed it Abi! Brilliant run!

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Nailed it good :) Thank you Millsie!! xx

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Well done Abi. As others have said I am in awe of your acheivements

Brighton, then London. Gotta be the London to Brighton challenge next then?: london2brightonchallenge.com/

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Thank you Whatsapp!! xx London2Brighton, yes indeedy!

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You are a machine!!

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That's me :)

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Wow! Absolutely amazing! Massive congratulations to you and a lovely write up! 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻

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Cheers Macmac!! xx

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Truly AWESOME roseabi..I hope you are almost fully recovered now. 😊xxx

Total respect for what you are achieving. 💪✋xx

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Thank youuuuu!!! xxx

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Well done ! Phew that sounds like a very tiring day all in all. The logistics are more stressful than the running I always think

It sounds fab apart from the snoring, the aching and the fainting 😁. Hopefully all is hunky-dory now. I bet your well-earned pint went down a treat. Shades of Ice Cold in Alex 😁🍻

I always though Yelling was a cyclist, although perhaps he is 😃

100k 😱. Crikey 💪😃

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Thanks MW!! xx Ah, Ice Cold in Alex, yes that was mine - Ice Cold in Hove anyway :D

Martin Yelling has been doing official training and inspirational-type posts for the VMLM on Facebook. He's a duathlete and triathlete, so yes a cyclist :)

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Does he do an Audiofuel thing?

I think the one I’ve got is voiced over by Rav Wilding. Sounds like him anyway, so I always imagine him in my mind’s eye 🙂

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I dunno :)

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Congratulations, roseabi! What a great time. You are definitely a badass! Sorry not to meet you this time - hopefully sometime later.

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Thanks '3PO, and many congratulations to you too!!!! xxxx

It was silly really, I would have had plenty of time to pop into the red start and find you. Maybe I'll come and do a Norwegian race one day :)

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Brilliant stuff, and what an amazing report! Two marathons in two weeks? Definitely a badass!

I couldn't help sharing your anecdote about running with Jesus Christ to some colleagues in my (Vatican) workplace - caused some amusement.

Sorry to read about your funny turn at the end but it sounds as if all's well that end's well. And I hope your leg recovers to full strength in good time for your ultra.

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Thank you so much, Helen!!! xx

It was fun running with the J man for sure (although the bare feet made me wince a lot, and I saw someone else sans shoes along the way - eek!). I've been trying to find out how he did with no luck, although it seems that he shows up at a lot of marathons around the world!

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I wonder how someone arrives at the conclusion that their thing in life is to run marathons dressed as JC, and barefoot? Maybe he had a kind of John Belushi moment of seeing the light?

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That was probably it! :)

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Two marathons in 2 weeks. I’m fainting just thinking of it. Amazing! And you make it sound FUN!

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:D Thank you, JaySee!!! xx

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Truly fantastic report (or is that really the first half of a novel?!). I know a couple of people who couldn't do it because of injury & pregnancy excuses, I'll show them this to gee them up for next year! Great work!

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Oh dear :) Thank you, Mr Lard!! xx

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Wow, massive well done to you, tough weather conditions but hey

LONDON MARATHON 2018 YOU DID IT 👏🏻

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Thank you!!! :D xx

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Amazing! Really well done!

Such an achievement xx 🏃‍♀️💪🏻🏅

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Thank you Lisa!!!! xx

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