So hard, so worthwhile - I couldn't have done it without the amazing support of the spectators
What an experience! This was my second marathon, so I thought I knew what I was doing. The training went really well (thanks to our club trainer), and my Spitfire 20 result led me to be cautiously optimistic about a sub-4:00 time. I read the RW articles and knew - yes, I knew - I had to hold back at the start. But I was on the Green Start where there were relatively few runners compared to the Blue and Red Starts, and we all seemed to set off at a cracking pace. I was feeling good, so I decided to keep going at that pace for as long as I felt comfortable. Big mistake.
By Mile 17 I was flat up against the wall. What kept me going (when my legs were screaming at me to stop) was the absolutely amazing support from everyone around the course. I'd been told the spectators at London are the best in the world, but you have to experience the cheering to really know how uplifting it is. Strangers calling out "Come on, you're doing so well" when I was almost on my knees was like being injected with energy.
Best of all was seeing my children and husband at Miles 12 and 18. They kept telling me how proud they were of me, and I can't describe the difference that made. I wanted so much to give in and walk, but I didn't: I kept running for them so that they could be proud of me at the end.
At the end I was amazed to realise that I had finished in just under four hours, but I know I simply couldn't have done it without the fantastic supporters.
Today the legs still ache, and I have a couple of ugly blisters, but who cares? It's done!
Best of all, St. Christopher's Hospice is better off too! Hard, but so worthwhile.