Like many people I’m sat watching the London marathon this morning. And I guess like many people I’m remembering when I was there taking part. For me it was eleven (11!!) years ago that I ran it.
A lot has happened since then. I moved house three times, ran another marathon (Dublin that October), started a business, had a son, stopped exercising, put on a couple of stone (those last two are probably linked), started and ended a marriage and done a bit of swimming.
Despite all that happening between now and then it’s great to sit down with my nine year old and remember some of the events of that day.
As we were watching the people queue for the portaloos I remember having a pee behind a tree in Greenwich Park (my nine year old thought that was funny). I remember jumping into an earlier pen at the start (I was originally booked into the very last pen), but it still taking over 12 minutes for me to cross the line. I remember the pain I felt along Embankment. The fact that I wasn’t really aware of my surroundings at the end (I only realised that I’d run past Buckingham Palace when I watched the highlights on TV that night). And I remember sobbing at the end as I was overrun with emotion and a little boy walked past me and said “Well done.”
I’m not sure I actually enjoyed my day at the marathon. I didn’t run in glasses and so the crowd was just a bit overwhelming for me as I couldn’t see anything or anyone. And it was bloody hard work. But I finished and in the end I’m bloody glad I did it.
This year I know a few people running – people I know in real life and people I know virtually (mainly through Team Bear). Good luck to them all.