Cherry On Top of the Cake (of Training)

My story of the london marathon 2011


Posted: 5 May 2011
by Liz Casling

I was in Pen 8 of the Blue start after 6 years of applying. I couldn't believe I was about to "do" the marathon - one of my bucket list challenges. 

Anyway me and this other lady had been sitting in this bus stop in the pen and then slowly we began to move foward. It felt like we got over the start relatively quickly and before we knew it we were running!

At the first set of toilets I immediately dived in to get the necessary done. After that I was fine which I was glad for as the queues got quite long. By mile 6-7 the sun was really beginning to pound down and along with my asthma (which is always worse in cities) I have to say I walked for about a minute. I was dissappointed as I had hoped to run at least 15 miles non-stop but I found the heat punishing.

The crowds were really amazing and I ran along high-fiving children in the crowd which all helped to motivate me and pass the time. At mile 9, my husband, two daughters and my sister were all waiting for me. My girls had cameras poised so I stopped for a photo and a quick hug. They even ran for a short while with me along the pavement.

Tower Bridge was the next "marker" I had mentally noted and it was incredible to see the crowds and the bridge from a unique vantage point. It was steep though!

Mile 13 I was told to look out for my parents and brother who had the banner "Go on Peanut" (my nickname). Yet again I stoppped for a brief hug and photo before ploughing on towards Canary Wharf which luckily seemed to be more sheltered from the sun. I was taking water at each stop and pouring it over my head, neck and wrists to try to cool down.

It was beginning to get really hard work keeping going though all the walkers but I broke it all down into miles and before you know it, you're there at mile 24 or so thinking "Well I could walk the rest if necessary". 

It was around here that the number of people being treated by St John's Ambulance increased a lot. One woman passed out right in front of me and then vomited. As we were in an underpass there was no St John's, so we walked together to get her help, carrying her along.

Running along the Embankment and along the Houses of Parliament was brillant with all the support. I kept shouting "I've done it" with the crowd replying "Yes you have!". 

Crossing the line with a big smile and I punched the air with joy! No tears as I had expected but real elation.

This was the cherry on top of my training "cake" as after all the months of hard work there was no way I wasn't going to do it. I finished in 5:43. I've applied to do it again next year - aiming for 5 hours if it's cooler!

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