The horn sounded, not that you could hear it back in pen 7 and slowly people started moving forward. 8 minutes of walking later and I was over the start line.
By this time I was calm and could breathe. This helps I find! The first mile loomed, but the garmin had me arrive before it. I don’t think for a minute that VLM had it wrong, the garmin was out. Calmly I realised that the 10 minute mile pace was not going to help, I needed to do 9:45 ish. That’s fine I reasoned I’ve done 18 miles in training at that pace. From then on I checked the watch regularly if it was reading a 9:30 pace, I slowed, when it beeped the mile over I could usually see the next balloon gantry, on this was a clock a quick minus 8 from that gave me an idea if I was on target or not. That’s how I passed my miles and boy they passed quickly.
I heeded the advice, no high fiving, no engagement with spectators, unless I knew them and no chat.
Oh except for the guy who had on the back of his Charity Tshirt ‘Thank you, John Disley’***. As I was passing him, I told him I liked the statement. He then told me he was a friend of John’s and John had always tried to get him to run London, sadly the year he decided to John passed away. I told him the relics were also friends of John and that point I wished him a good run and ran on. It turns out that we think this runner had been talking to the relics at John’s memorial service and he went to the same school as Dad! Isn’t it odd that out of 39000 runners I passed this man read his shirt and had a chat?
Anyway I digress back to knocking off those miles.
Well what can I say I knocked them off, I saw most of the people I knew who came to watch, including club members, two Madams, ex running buddy who passed me a bottle of water, at water station mile 13, my brother and Alma. The crowds were amazing, noisy and terrific.
Mile 23 loomed, that’s it now Shaz you can do this a parkrun to go. I picked it up. I rocked out my fastest mile! However, probably due to this, my slowest mile was mile 26!
800 metres to go, 400 metres to go, palace, mall, finishing straight, go legs of lead go and stop. No St John’s Ambulance person I am going to stand here and gather myself just for a moment thank you.
The aims for this marathon were
- Don’t go out too fast
- Control the pace
- Finish under 4.5 hours
- Finish Strong
- Get a PB
Tick, tick, tick, tick, tick.
Finish time 4:21:40
*** For those of you not in the know John Disley was an Olympian, and along with Chris Brasher co-founded the London Marathon back in 1981. John was responsible for creating the route. A route that takes in so many iconic landmarks, there is nothing quite like running over Tower Bridge. It is possible that without John there would be a London Marathon, it is unlikely though that it would one of the best in the world. I am privileged to have run it now four times, so yes
‘Thank you, John Disley’