My VLM 2010: grandadnohair (5:59.45)

I'd always said "no way" to 26.2 miles but this was one awesome, fantastic and memorable day!

Posted: 28 April 2010
by grandadnohair

Taking my time and enjoying the occasion!

Its  great to see how many first-time marathoners were running the Virgin London Marathon.  I was one too. A guy who at 58 has only been running two years, prior to which I'd been a couch potato for 20 years! Even when my girls got me running and I got into half- marathons, I'd always said "no way" to 26.2 miles. 

And then I won a place in the Sweatshop/Adidas draw when I never win anything, and my daughters who always win things didn't get in. Imagine the shock!

Training had gone pretty well - two half-marathons, two 18-milers, a 20-miler and a 21-miler - except for falling on the towpath of the River Medway two weeks before the marathon. I damaged my ribs and almost went over the edge - I was only saved from going into the river by a large bramble bush and my daughter grabbing my arm! But then, three days before Sunday I went down with the heaviest cold I've had for years...

So, with all thoughts of a 4:30 finish out of the window, I decided to simply enjoy myself. And I had a ball!  What a fantastic time! I interacted with the crowds, stopped and chatted, high-fived the kids - it was such a festival atmosphere I never, ever expected to enjoy it so much. I got round in 5:59.45, but that was fine, because I'd enjoyed my best day since my daughter's wedding two years previously.  Fantastic! Roll on the ballot on Tuesday - they'd jolly well better give me a place!

Highs? Everything.
Lows?  No energy gels when I got to the gel stations. 
Most memorable moment? Passing a row of guys having a pee in bushes then catching a glimpse through a gap of a row of bare ladies' bottoms!  
Most angry moment? All those bottles of water and energy drink wasted on the ground - that really annoyed me.   
Best moments of all?  Doing it; my supporters; the crowd support; the support from Macmillan Cancer Support crossing the line; getting my medal; and seeing my wife!  Oh yes, and being able to eat donuts and chocolate again (at least for a few weeks)!

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