The best moment of my first FLM was when I was struggling down towards the Mall and could see Buckingham Palace in the background. Despite the fact that I run down there regularly, the road seemed endless - hearing people shouting 'come on Kitty, not far to go' was amazing, just because they were total strangers willing me on. It was also great to meet other forum members at the start - and thank you especially to Plodding Hippo who helped me keep calm and gave some sound words of advice!
Probably the most memorable moment (maybe for him than for me!) was, having missed the toilets at the start, having to pop down a side road behind a wall to have a toilet break. I was determined not to lose what looked like at least five or 10 minutes queuing for the toilets, but was interrupted by some poor bloke obviously also looking for a quiet place! Hearing on the radio this morning that Paula had to do the same by the side of the road made me feel slightly better...
The worst thing was that despite what seemed like careful planning, I missed all of my support crew along the way - there seemed to be so many more people watching than in previous years that we just never found each other at the agreed places. For some reason, I even managed to run straight past the RW support crew at 17 miles! Running almost past my back door, whilst heading away from the finish into Docklands, was also pretty psychologically tough.
Next time (and yes, there will be a next time!), I'm definitely going to make better arrangements with my support crew, remember not to gulp from the water bottle in the last mile, thus nearly making me vomit over the poor marathon official who saw me over the line, and continue to enjoy it.
I missed my target time of 4.30, but I don't really mind - I did it, and I'm determined to do more marathons as well as the shorter races I enjoy, and keep on improving.
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