Where do I start – I suppose from the beginning, so this could be a long one. Please be patient as this will be the last one for a while as I am taking myself off social media for a couple of weeks.
Was excited to be going down to London First Class, booking early had given me a good deal and a reserved seat but not happy when I got down to Leeds to find out the train had been cancelled (was this the start of things to come) Luckily I got a seat but stress doesn’t come into it!
Met Julie at Kings Cross – my fellow CWC fundraiser, friend and runner and we went to my fabulous hotel Mecure London Bridge to drop off my stuff before heading for the Expo. I chose the hotel because it was near 2 underground stations – but it would have been easier if we could have worked out where we were going!
Finally got there – busy old day – hot hot hot – do like an Expo – actually if I could do that and nothing else I would be rather happy. Other than visiting our Charity stand to meet and greet the people who have supporting us all the way it gives us time to buy things or better still get things FREE!!!
It had been a late day for both of us and after seeing Martin Yelling doing a talk and speaking to Colin Burgin-Plews “the man in the dress” who supports Breast Cancer Now we headed off for something to eat! First of my meltdowns happened in Nandos – needless to say we didn’t stay and headed off for the hotel restaurant which was wonderful.
I had never been so excited to do anything than go on the RIB Experience on the Thames – this was to my sightseeing tour courtesy of Sally Bott and family in Australia. And boy what an experience – 12 of us in a speedboat seeing the sights of good old London Town to the sounds of James Bond and Sam Smith (I would see it a lot slower on Sunday)
I never feel the need for speed being one of the worlds plodders – don’t like rollercoasters – like my feet planted firmly on the ground but boy oh boy did I love this.
Then it was time for CAKE – in style – HARRODS with Julie, proper china cups and cakes like my Dad used to make. This carb loading wasn’t too bad, neither was the ice-cream in the sun later – but I was worrying more and more about marathon day – I don’t do heat – give me the cold Yorkshire Dales any day of the week!
After this more food meeting Denise, Anjie, Becs and later Chris at Antonio Carluccio restaurant in St Pancreas Station for some more carb loading – no booze but good food. Early to bed but couldn’t sleep – tick tock tick tock until 5 o’clock came and I had to get up.
April 22nd MARATHON DAY
Wasn’t nervous – got up went down for breakfast and unlike London 2014 had a good breakfast of porridge, toast with jam and coffee – said good morning to all the other runners that were there at 5.30am and started taking on water. Felt relaxed.
Waited for Julie to arrive so that we could go to the start together but by this time it had started to warm up – we had a long way to walk first to the packed tube and then to the DLR where we waited like lemons. I first started to feel sick then as the heat started getting to me.
Getting off at Greenwich we had a further long walk – all uphill – why does my memory discard this of the last time – to hand our bags in. I thought a banana might help while we waited in the ever so long toilet queue – not wanting to try the female urinals!
Cap was planted firmly on head, suntan lotion sprayed and bottle of water which I was sipping slowly. As I was in the last wave I knew we were going to be a long time out there.
Julie and I had a plan 60/60 of run walking – didn’t know how I was going to cope running with someone (other than 40’0000+) or in the heat. But I was going to give it a go but from the off it wasn’t good, the sickness was still there and I couldn’t regulate my breathing. It seemed ages before I got to the first mile – guilt is what I thought of holding Julie back – so wanting to walk instead of run. My face felt as though it was on fire and my head wanted to pop.
Passed two miles and onto the 3rd and Julie had started running again and I just stopped – a young lad came rushing over with a bottle of water and a woman with a towel soaked in water and in what didn’t seem long a medic on a motorbike. While my temperature and blood sugars were OK my heart at resting was way above what it should have been and I was advised not to go any further.
Stubbornness would have made me go on – but I know it would have been to the detriment to my own health if I had carried on – sometimes you just know. I was to to get on the medical bus where I was wrapped in a foil blanket and later a coat as I couldn’t then get warm – from one extreme to another.
I wasn’t the first on the bus and as I was following the whole route picking up the injured to the finish I was no means the last – in fact there were two coaches both full. There were all sorts of illnesses but a lot of heat related ones and while I was just feeling sick a lot who had been out on the course longer were throwing up.
It was a peculiar journey as we passed people struggling at the back, people we now know who had NO water from mile 8 in temperatures above 24c and in some places with the buildings closing in I have been told the tarmac went sticky and reaching 30c!
The crowds were out in force, maybe if it had been colder it would have only been the ardent followers and not the ones who feel that with their loose lips that they can say anything to people who have trained months in all weathers – regardless of age, size to raise thousands for charity but with their few chosen words brings all that hard word crashing down. We were stopped near mile 23 and a group of lads chanted “Cheaters, Cheaters! – after the proverbial V sign I broke down in tears. At that time I would have gladly turned the clock back and never have got in the sweeper bus.
We got to the end at 6.30pm and I was met by two of my brilliant friends Elaine and Aileen who had come to support, one from Dorset and the other a surprise from the North East. Friends I wouldn’t be able to have made it though without them and they both were great shoulders to cry on. We went then to see Julie finish – bitter sweet as I so wanted to be part of her journey and party at the back but so pleased that she had stuck it out and was not alone.
Mentally I feel better today, looking back I wasn’t the only one not to finish at the hottest London Marathon on record. One person a healthy 29 year old Matt Campbell who did Manchester Marathon 2 weeks earlier in under 3 hours collapsed and died at 22.5 mile mark. Such a tragic end to what started a promising day for a great runner. The lucky ones are those that weren’t affected.
I am and have been eternally grateful for those that have got me so far – helping me to put in a whopping £2038 of the £3977.70 we have raised on the RunforLucyLondon2018 Virgin Giving page. All the events the successful ones the ones that weren’t so – I couldn’t have done have done it without each and every one of you.
The Charity is the one that wins in the end and they are AMAZING. Will continue with my sweet stall at work for funds for the Great North Run in September. Now is time for ME – RECOVERY – Get my feet sorted – doctors think today I have a trapped nerve so no exercise (music to my ears)
Thank you for reading – if you got to the end – it will be my last for a while