My 2004 London Marathon

Time: 4:33

This was my first ever marathon, and it was just simply amazing! I started chatting to the guy next to me at the start and we ran the first 19 miles together. I have no idea who "Marathon Matt" is in real life, but I would like to give him a huge heartfelt thank you for making the first half of the marathon simply whizz along.

Best bits - hard to judge between the sheer delight of seeing my supporters for the first time around mile 21, having run much better than I thought, the buggers had been behind me until that point!; the crowds through St Katherine's Docks were phenomenal and made me feel like I could skip along; and the weather. Given that I hadn't run for the last 5 weeks due to my Achilles tendon, it meant I could wear the winter clothes I had run in all through my training, and not have to panic about running the marathon in brand-new (and therefore likely to be highly chaffing) shorts and vest! Oh, and a gold star goes to the masseuse at the SPARKS hospitality event. She was a legend!

Worst bit - without a doubt running past the little kid on the embankment holding out a fun-sized pack of maltesers and not registering seeing them until I was so far past I thought it might be embarrassing to run against the flow for 50 metres just to retrieve them. Just what I would have loved at 25 miles - sod the jelly babies, I'd earnt the chocolate!!

My goal was 4hrs 30mins (with fingers crossed due to the last 5 weeks without running) and I managed 4hrs 33 even with a truly pathetic last two miles. All thanks to the aforementioned Marathon Matt (to whom my medal is now dedicated…).

If I had done anything differently, I would have entered this when I first moved to London. I've missed out on those crowds for the last two years, but won't make the same mistake again!

I celebrated by having a big party with my friends in a bar across the road from me. I was restricted to a bloody mary, several white wine spritzers and then a Chinese take away at home before I collapsed into bed (unfortunately I could only manage a mouthful of the Chinese last night, but happily polished it off at 5.30am this morning when I got up after finally relenting to the fact I couldn't sleep as my quads were so sore!). Crispy duck pancakes for breakfast?  I think I earnt them….

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