London Marathon 2016 #oneinamillion
Well where do we begin….
It all started a year ago when we were taken under Keith’s wing for the new runners initiative, before becoming fully pledged members of the East Hull Harriers or as Jen would say the #EHHMassive (hashtags throughout just for you Matty 😉 ). And here we are now having completed the London Marathon sat writing the race report on the train home (wearing our T-Shirt and Medals of course) crazy!!
So the alarms went off at 6AM and first thing we did was send a message to each other. Jen sent a selfie (of course) of her nervous face with a message simply saying “WHAT ARE WE DOING!!”. Get your bum out of bed we’re doing a Marathon!!!
It was then time for the final “carb load” brekki and to get our outfits on! Not forgetting the ribbon for our hair! So there we were strapped in, strapped on and strapped down on our way to Greenwich Park to the start line. After an emotional goodbye and good luck we were on our separate ways to our start zones. Katie in red with the charity runners and lucky Jennifer in the blue ballot win area with most of the other EHH (not forgetting the green ‘good for age’ runners with Carole Fee, Alison Burnett, David Butt etc). At this point we were both in panic mode, not only was we now on our own but we had to learn how to use a “shewee” #useyourimagination….
Ok ok.. So we’re in the pens, ready set and go!!!
After my Mum and Dad left me all emotional I headed off to the Blue zone, eyes peeled for training buddy Karl Rolstone, (I’d have better look trying to find a needle in a hay stack :/ ) After just 4 minutes I was across the line and away my legs went focussed on the long run ahead. All of a sudden I found myself running next to Eric Pollard (obviously I gave him a high five and asked where David was).
The first 10 miles just flew by and I was buzzing with the roar of the crowds, looking forward to see my family and the #EHHMassive at mile 11 where they gave me the biggest roar ever… A guy I was running near even asked if I was a celeb ha! All of a sudden the Tower Bridge appeared and was just simply beautiful, the success of being half way brought a tear to my eye…. I know I know I’m a cry baby!! Soon after I found myself screaming at our captain Matty who stood out from everyone on a monument looking like a statue…Alison I’m sure he had the boys was somewhere in site 😉 The fast club runners were on the other side of the road, eagerly I was looking for our famous red vest. I screamed after seeing Dr Dan who was among them looking strong going super-duper fast.
Mile 15-17 was where the blisters appeared and somehow my little brain started to melt around canary wharf and I couldn’t even grasp what pace I was going let alone how to put one foot in front of the other to run. But suddenly there was my mum and dad who gave me the biggest cheer and somehow I was good to go. Mile 20 approached and all I could think was that’s the EHH 20 completed just the swine loop to go now easy peasy… How wrong was I! This seemed like the longest 10k ever! Until I spotted the camera crew with Colin Jackson I sprinted towards them getting the famous red vest on TV (autographs will be available at club) #jdisfamous
The finish line was so near yet so far. The thighs was burning the blisters was throbbing but I was nearly done, I’d almost finished running a marathon something I never thought I’d say! After giving Liz a wave I saw a 400 yard sign and with a gulp in my throat I was almost done. The roar on the mall was deafening, the pub and celebratory pints were in site all I had to do was run! I picked up smiling for all the cameras and trying to take in the atmosphere, this so called 400yards seemed to go on forever and ever but there it was I’d crossed the finish with a time of 4 hours 36. I was amazed I’d even finished due to my “old lady hip” giving me jip during training but I’m over the moon. I’m now a marathon runner! Any guesses what the first thing I did….obviously take a selfie with my medal of course ha!
Would I do another one…of course I would!
The big day was finally here, my first marathon!! It was bitter sweet really as I put on my “Green” charity vest, great to be supporting The Outward Bound Trust (raising nearly £2000 for them – thanks again for all your kind donations) but also sad to not have my red vest on! Nevertheless I was there as a Harrier and there to give it my best…
After cramming like sardines onto the tubes I managed to get to the red start in good time. Before I knew it we was all shuffling forward in our start zones then after 5 mins I was off! To my left I could see the 3:45 pacer and my secret target was to stay ahead of him (to everyone else it was sub 4 hours haha)!! The first 6 miles was a blur really, faffing with my gel belt, getting into my stride and hearing the crowds roar my name was unbelievable! I was absolutely buzzing and felt great. The key was to manage this and not get too carried away too early! These little legs had a long way to go yet…
After a few miles red, blue and green joined together and I was on the lookout for some red vests! It was so nice to see a familiar face when I saw Alison and we wished each other well (all smiles all this point loving life). At mile 6 the Cutty Sark crowds were out in force, but it was here that I hit my first traffic jam arghh…everything got a bit claustrophobic so I was pleased that the road widened after this! I knew that my family and friends were going to be at mile 11 so this was the next target to get to. There wasn’t a chance I would miss them as they screamed uncontrollably for me! Ann Allen and the EHH crew were also there showing their support, it was amazing! Then onto Tower Bridge it was and I knew I was half way. Woo!
Mile 15 was interesting – a bald chap tapped me on my shoulder and asked if he could join me for this mile. Wearily, I nodded and said yes. He then explained he’d committed to run every mile with a different runner. Oh and to take a few selfies to evidence this! God knows what I looked like on these pictures but it made me laugh as I thought of Jen who would be somewhere on route taking selfies herself #selfiequeen!
The rest went really quick but the legs got heavier as I heard someone shout “here we go into the unknown it’s mile 20!”. So this is where the supposed “wall” comes I thought, but hey stay positive you’ve only got Boxing Day 10k to go! My legs were definitely tiring now and as I approached mile 24 I’d hit my slowest mile. Adding to this my watch was all out of sync, so when it was ‘pinging’ 24 miles the 24 marker was actually another half mile away! Soul destroying but come on Katie you’re nearly there now girl!! I was also wondering if I was going to see my family again, that would be ace right about now I thought!! Into Mile 25 and there they were screaming again, everyone must have thought they were crazy (check out the video on my Facebook, no wonder my sister lost her voice the week after bless her). Mile 25 was one of my fastest miles and I thank them for that well needed pick-me-up!
Before I knew it, it was the 400 yard marker and I was flying to the finish with my hands in the air!!! 3 hours 40mins for my first marathon – wow I still can’t believe it! Absolutely over the moon and with a Good for Age time at least next time I will be wearing my favourite Red Vest 😀 !!!!
A big shout out to the EHH crew tracking us from home! The running commentary on Facebook was amazing and we can’t believe how many of you were sat at home tracking us. Made us smile reading all the comments afterwards whilst walking like John Wayne back to the hotel! Finally some big love to Karl Rolstone who has been our training buddy since January. We will certainly miss those Sunday morning strolls!
What a fantastic experience it was and a weekend we will both never forget 🙂
See below for the full set of fantastic EHH performances on the day. Sad news that Jayne and Stu had to drop out but there’s plenty more where that came from!! Onwards and upwards for the #EHHMassive