In short: First ever would do it again In full: Wow, Wow, Wow, I did it!!!!!!!! 26.2 miles in 4 hours 53 minutes and 45 seconds. Not a record by any scope of the imagination, but I’m so proud and happy. I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face at the finish line, I could see the clock in the distance ticking down to 5 hours and I thought, No way am I doing it in more than that and got a sprint on. The crowds cheering made me feel like an Olympian winning gold! The weather was rubbish, severe gales and rain too, but for the first time ever I ran with no music and it was amazing. All thanks to the amazing spectators who lined the route for hours on end, handing out sweets and drinks and much needed words of encouragement. The laughing and whooping of the runners was fantastic and the kids giving high fives as we passed. At the beginning as I ran through a set of lights at Stretford, I heard a man yell “You’ve just run a red light!” I laughed not knowing that it was amazing husband Frankie – think a good few other runners laughed too. As we made our way through Sale and Timperley the crowds increased as the rain poured down and I found myself thanking them for their support. Then as I rounded a corner into Altrincham town centre, there was Frankie camera in hand. He’d stood there for at least an hour waiting in the rain to take a few pics. Love him so much?. From Altrincham there was a huge hill to the half way point and then came Dunham Massey, or Dunham Messy as I will forever now think of it, howling wind, freezing temperatures, streams and ankle deep muddy puddles. The cold kept me going, I began to fantasize about phoning Frankie and asking him to pick me up, but where was I somewhere on a dirt track between, Altrincham and Partington. It seemed like an eternity, I was suffering from the cold and put my hands in my jacket sleeves to try and keep them warm. Others were suffering worse and as we finally hit Partington, an ambulance was giving people first aid for the cold. People were coming out of their houses with bin bags and plastic sheets, cutting holes in the tops and handing them out to the shivering runners. It’s people like these who make Britain great. As I hit the 18 mile mark, I let out a little cheer, 8 and a bit miles to go – You can do this Rebekah! Not even my words, but those of a small child at the roadside, standing in her rain mack with a huge smile, I wanted to cry. I started clapping the spectators from then on. They must have been freezing, but their enthusiasm was like a warm blanket, every time I stopped to walk for a minute, somebody would shout ‘Go on you can do it !’ and off I’d go again. At 22 miles we ran towards Flixton over the windiest road ever and all thoughts of my celebratory bottle of wine, turned to hot cups of tea. Please something warm, every drinks station was pain in my hands as I took them out of my coat. My fingers were numb and I decided that unless it was tea, I wasn’t having any more liquid till I finished. 24 miles – 2 miles to go, the end is in sight, the crowds are getting bigger, the cheers are getting louder.
25 miles – Oh I’m going to cry, I’ve nearly done it, the emotion is overwhelming, a mile seems such a long way now, but I’m going to do it, this is it, I am NOT walking across the finish line. Then there it is the final approach, I can hear people shouting quarter of a mile to go and suddenly my legs belong to somebody else, they’re sprinting! My heart is bursting, the crowds are on both sides and I know that Frankie is there somewhere. I raise my arms in the air and yell “YES!” as I pass the finish line. I’ve done it. Somebody wraps me in a foil blanket and throws a medal around my neck. Somebody else passes me water and a banana and there he is, camera in hand, smiling at me. The best husband in the world. As I walk towards him somebody asks me if I’m alright and I turn with the biggest smile and say “Oh yes, I want to do it again” and I mean every word.