Completing the London Marathon has been a goal of mine for 30 years - finally I have done it!
I had a place in the London Marathon in 2003 but unfortunately had to pull out after doing all of the training, as I had a chest infection during the taper. It was particulary sad because Dad was dying in hospital and was really looking forward to watching it on the TV during the last few weeks of his life. When I got my place this year this was a chance to put everything right and nothing was going to stop me! The obvious charity to support was Macmillan Cancer Support - this completed the triangle.
I loved every minute of this wonderful day. I had downloaded the BBC The Trap theme tune onto my iPod and had that running while I walked to the tube in Bounds Green. I was there as it opened and felt great. The atmosphere on the tube was highly charged - some people chattering away and others sitting in calm reflection. All too soon we were there and I was walking through the Blue Start.
One of the best things about the day was meeting Liz at the start - we stayed together until Mile 6 and I hope that she did well. I was just so touched by all of the different people and their reasons for running.
My low points were Mile 9 and then Mile 21. At Mile 21 my legs just cramped up. I had physio from Francis at the St John's Ambulance post - she was amazing. As I stumbled in, a bit teary, she held my shoulders and looked into my eyes saying "You are going to do this". I don't know what she did to my calves but my legs felt so good afterwards - I am so grateful to her and really enjoyed the rest of the race.
The crowds were brilliant and so supportive - just having people yell your name was fantastic. Macmillan Cancer Support made you feel like a celebrity when you ran past them and I met an old friend at about Mile 17 too!
Seeing Steve, Will, James and Cat at Mile 22 made all the difference and I actually sped up toward the finish. I could hardly contain my tears as I rounded the end of Birdcage Walk and the finish was in sight. The lady who gave me my medal was so warm and genuinely congratulatory.
Just an awesome day - I will be back!