Before talking about the running - a word about the overall experience. Unbelievable. This was my second marathon and one of the best days of my life. The crowds, the bands, the music, the cheering, the calling out of my name - all of that combined to make for an unforgettable experience.
Best moment was coming up to Tower Bridge - what a sight! My family and friends were on the bridge and I spotted them as I coasted over. I was hoping for a sub-four-hour time and along with my running mate Keith, both of us running for Concern, I got through 20 miles with practically no problem. But at around 21 it started to hurt and by 23 it was agony. I was sick, I walked for a few hundred yards and then thought 'stuff this, I am running the last two miles'.
And I did - albeit very slowly. Even though I had cramp in my thighs, my calves and my groin and every step hurt, I made it all the way home. I was exhausted, dehydrated, sore and delighted. A few minutes later I was in the first aid tent with the wonderful St John's Ambulance.
So even though I missed out on my target by 20 minutes, and I promised myself during the last mile that I would never do another marathon, I can't wait until next year!
What would I do differently? Drink more en route, arrange for a Mars Bar to be available at around mile 18 and try and stick to one pace the whole way through.