So the big day finally dawned and Clive was right I did not sleep well at all! So grateful to my Sister taking my two children to Chessington World of Adventures the day before so I could chill out and even managed an afternoon nap!
I awoke before the alarm, which was set for 6am. Had my porridge and set off for Epsom train station to catch the 7.24am train, unfortunately just as I got there the train was leaving. I knew next one was at 7.54 so tried to find somewhere to sit out of the wind, it was very chilly. A couple of other marathon runners appeared on the platform and then an announcement saying 'The 7.54 train has been cancelled' no explanation of why. Panic set in and the two other runners and I looked at each other in despair. After some discussion it was decided the best thing to do was get a taxi to Wimbledon train station, I explained I had no cash on me having bought my train ticket the day before. They kindly told me not to worry and paid for me-so kind of them. So six of us got in the taxi and got the train from Wimbledon to Waterloo. The train from Waterloo to Blackheath was completely packed, with runners not able to get on at London Bridge. Felt so sorry for them-just hope the next train wasn't too far behind.
In the end we got to Blackheath with plenty of time to spare thank goodness! So joined the long queue's for the loo's! It was really cold waiting around, the wind was so strong, I had my hoodie and black bin liner on and my teeth were still chattering together! It was lovely to meet up with Tracy beforehand and we had a quick hug before going to our separate start pens.
The crowds were so amazing right from the start, lining the streets and shouting encouragement. I found myself welling up and had to tell myself to get a grip as couldn't be crying for 26 miles!!
I spotted Caroline after a few miles-think it was where the different starts merge together, and we waved at each other! I was feeling great to start with and had to keep telling myself to slow down. Unfortunately at mile 9 I twisted my ankle on a water bottle, couldn't believe it. I went flying and could see the road coming towards me, I thought I was either going to face plant or land on my shoulder but somehow managed to upright myself and then the pain shot through my ankle. Choking back tears I had to walk for abit, the crowd were really cheering me on and eventually I managed to start running again. I could feel my ankle swelling in my trainers but nothing was going to stop me crossing that finish line. Thinking id missed my family in the crowd and feeling sorry for myself I saw some portaloo's so needing a wee made my way towards them, then heard all these shouts of 'Joy' saw my children, Mum, Brother, Sister, Brother in law and niece and nephew! Cant tell you how good it was to see them and have lots of hugs, it really lifted my spirits and I was on my way again. Decided against using the portaloo as was abit of a queue, saw some more about mile 12 and with 3 people in front of me waited to use them-they seemed to take forever! But I was much more comfortable after stopping!
Cutty Sark and Tower Bridge were so loud, the crowds were going crazy! I stopped for a selfie on Tower Bridge! Then after about a mile from there a friend from work and her husband saw me, luckily I heard them shout, so after a quick photo with them was off again.
The Lucazade drink stations made the roads so sticky for quite a while afterwards, you could literally feel your trainers sticking to the ground!
I saw Caroline twice more, really impressed she got to see us three times. My family were just before Big Ben- probably less than 2 miles to the finish but there was no way I could stop this time. I really don't think I would have been able to keep the legs going if I had of done! So I waved and carried on to the finish. Never has 800m seemed so long, was trying to summon up a sprint finish and did manage to overtake a few people but what a relief to finally cross that finish line! 4hrs 57.57 So emotional thinking of my Dad and proud to have that lovely medal around my neck at last!
The family ended up walking just over 10 miles, including my 5 year old daughter! some of the tube stations were so packed they had to walk! But so glad they were there with me. Got my ankle iced by the lovely people at St Johns Ambulance after the finish.
Thank you so much to all who sponsored me-really means a lot. I originally had a target of £1,000 for Dementia Revolution and its now at £3,122.20 not including gift aid, so I am extremely grateful and touched.
Apparently 2,000 runners ran for Dementia Revolution and have raised over 3 million, so I truly hope that a cure will be found soon.
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