Sunday 21st April 2018
Time: 5:19 (Course record)
The shock of getting a place in the London Marathon through the ballot was pretty outstanding in all honesty, two out of three ain’t bad as Meat Loaf would say! The best thing about getting the chance to run London again was that I was much more relaxed than in 2016. I knew what to do at the expo to get my number, how to get to the start line via the Tube and then trains, which are all free to runners on the day of the marathon which makes it even better and being more confident talking to people as we went to the start line!
Coming off the back of Manchester two weeks prior to this my target was to get closer to 4:30 or even just sub 4:30. However, we were about to be hit with a very unexpected and unusual heat wave! Yes, that is right England was hit with the sun and heat in the week prior to the Marathon and that then made it the hottest London Marathon on record ever! I was actually extremely happy to hear that on finishing the brutal race. We had come off the worst winter and training in the rain, sleet, snow and ice in plenty of layers and minus temperatures and race day ended up being 24 degrees! That is sunbathing in the back garden weather in the North East!
The positive thing about the amazing hot and sunny weather was that it meant the crowds were then outstanding. Honestly so many people, parts of the course actually ended up bottle necked due to that many people trying to fit on the pavements, that made it feel even hotter at times. But because of the atmosphere it wasn’t really something that was a huge issue in all honesty. It made you want to keep going because of the support and great nature.
I don’t think I will ever understand how I managed to complete the marathon in all honesty, it made my pace be totally all over the place. It took me 2 hours and 19 minutes to reach the half way point, which I had actually realised it wasn’t even my slowest half marathon time so I had a bit of a confidence boost. That wasn’t really going to last very long when it took me a long 3 hours to complete the second half of the race, making friends with a guy named Tony and finishing the last 6 miles with him!
That is something I found incredible about taking part in a marathon at some point on the course you are going to meet someone who is struggling just as much as you are and you will pull each other along and get to the finish line! I never thought during the run that I wasn’t going to finish, I was keeping the mental side of that strong in knowing that I would be getting my medal and t-shirt at the end. If it was my first marathon I don’t think I would ever want to do another one, I still feel like I want and need to run London again in the future get sub 5 and my current marathon target of sub 4:30 which I actually think I could have pushed for in Manchester thinking back about it now!
London is a huge race and it is a special race that everyone wants to take part in. I actually hate the first few miles with all of the speed bumps, I honestly do not find running over them very fun at all. The course overall though is pretty flat, I think at around 18 miles? It was a rather uphill part which I decided to walk up as my legs did not find it amusing. I did reach a few points when I was questioning myself to running two marathons within two weeks and even now a few weeks later I am saying I will never do that again, but surely something will happen and I will end up doing something crazy again.
I know just have a few shorter runs and two half marathons in September and October in the build up to my next marathon in New York City! I guess that will be a pretty epic way to finishing 2018 in terms of running in races right? London is a truly special event and the spirit of London theme was shown throughout the day and weekend. I have to compliment the race organisers on how much extra water was available and the instructions in the build up were spot on! #SpiritofLondon