Wow, what a great race today and very different to the others I have done. For a start it was raining heavily at the beginning and then became very humid and then the clouds lifted and the sunshine appeared. Regardless of the weather it was another great London Marathon with the crowds cheering and the streets lined with spectators from mile 1 to mile 26.2 - the carnival atmosphere was once again there.
For me, the race couldn't have got off to a better start; although the start was crowded and the running was slow going (whilst everyone found their pace) I felt good and strong. As the miles progressed I started to pick up my pace and found my rhythm. I thought I was running a little fast at times but it felt good so I continued. The miles passed and the spectators continued to shout and cheer everyone on. Miles 1 to 21 were superb for me, I felt I was gliding along with ease and looking at my watch I seemed to be within reach of a finishing time of between 3hrs 50mins and 4hrs....however just after 21 miles something happened, my legs started to get very heavy and it was if I was suddenly having to run whilst carrying someone else on my shoulders. At around 21.5 miles I heard my name being shouted out by my good running friend and this really spurred me on. However, miles 22 to the finish were a struggle and this is where my mental strength had to take over as physically my body was telling me it had had enough and that I should stop! However, I kept focused and kept running (albeit a lot slower now) and without really being able to take in the world around me, I was consumed by tiredness and focused only on one thing: getting to that finish line. It was a delight to see the 800m to go sign and I don't know how but I picked up my pace (probably my bodies way of saying 'get this over with now') and ended the race at a near sprint in 4 hours, 2 minutes and 39 seconds......wonderful!
This was my fourth London Marathon and probably the toughest and although it wasn't a personal best time for me this year it was still very special. The London Marathon is a fantastic event, a world class marathon and I am so pleased to have had the chance to run it again and to raise money for my charity (Climb Your Mountain).
Thank you to all my wonderful friends and family and a special thanks to my lovely husband and daughter for travelling up to London with me today and for supporting me. Sorry I didn't see you both at mile 25 but I was beyond looking for anything at this point apart from the finish line x