With A Little Help From My Friends

20130423-223808.jpgAs I posted yesterday, what really helped me through the London Marathon on Sunday was dedicating a mile to different people who hold a special place in my heart. Here goes ….

1) Matthew Robbins – my Godson who is going to be christened in a few weeks time. Beginning of a wonderful little life

2) Sebastian – My cousin who was also running that day

3) Lu Lingzi – One of the spectators killed at the Boston Marathon

4) Hannah my niece – A beautiful and talented young woman about to take her GCSEs – a bright future awaits her

5) My Brother David – The most genuine person I know

6) Grampa – All round legend and head of the best family you could ever hope for

7) My cousin Matthew – Just about to start University – Whatever he does, this lad will go very far indeed

8) Kristel Campbell – Another spectator at the Boston Marathon

9) Jodie – A fantastic friend living in Canada who I wish I could see more often

10) Ellie & Alan – For just being the best friends anyone could wish to have

11) My Cousin Rose – An immensely talented young lady just about to finish uni and get into life

12) My sister Caroline – Really got behind this whole project with such enthusiasm and fantastic mother to Hannah (no4)

13) Martin Richards – the eight year boy old killed while watching his Dad finish the Boston Marathon

14) My Dad – Because he’s my Dad and just fantastic

15) Amy & Geoff – Soon to be married – wishing them the very best in married life

16) My cousin Austin and his fiancé Laura. Also soon to be married and wishing them a very happy future

17) The Boston Marathon

18) My Mum – Who flew over from Northern Ireland to come and cheer me on and who couldn’t have done more to support me in this endeavour

19) Becky – this was my ‘cramp’ mile so who better to dedicate it to than someone who causes me pain and irritation ONLY JOKING! My own Ms motivator who I love dearly

20) For my legs – just praying they would start working again!

21)To Sarah – One of my oldest friends who is taking on the Belfast Marathon in a few weeks

22) My Auntie Anne – my fairy Godmother who masterminded a huge fundraising event

23) My nephew Callum – Who told me he’d got a medal running at school very far and very fast – future marathoner?

24) The Griffin family in London and N. Ireland – Who got behind this 100%

25) Granny – Hoping every step was doing her proud. I had her picture pinned to my back and her broach pinned to my front. Whenever it got tough I looked at it, put my head down and kept going

26) Everyone who sponsored me or sent messages of support. I ran out of miles to mention everyone individually, and at this stage, I’m not prepared to do an ultra marathon to fit everyone in!

Other good things about the day – beating Katherine Jenkins and Ed Balls 🙂

Click here to find out why I was doing this and to sponsor the shuffle



Harder Than You Think Is A Beautiful Thing

So, today has been mostly spent being unable to walk down stairs – I’m a little stiff to say the least! Yesterday I promised a geekily detailed summary of the London marathon, and here it is!

I wrote yesterday that running the London Marathon was the hardest thing I’d ever done and it certainly was. At one point I was in so much pain, I swore I’d never exercise again, let alone run! Boston was obviously very much in everyone’s hearts and minds. Just before the gun went off, a whistle blew for 30 seconds of silence to remember this wonderful city. It was incredibly powerful and followed by a tumultuous round of applause. It gave me goose-bumps.

For the first few miles, everyone was on top of each other and it was really hard to weave round people to follow the 4:30 pacer. Eventually I decided to give up on the pacer, and just run my own race. Friends and family had strategically placed themselves every few miles along the course and I can’t put into words how nice it was to see their faces. The London crowd was just phenomenal. Having a random stranger look you in the eye, screaming out your name and telling you to dig deep was a really powerful experience. I wrote before that I was worried spectators wouldn’t come out because of what happened in Boston, but it seemed all the more people came out in defiance.

Disaster struck on mile 17. I could tell my pace had slowed and my right leg started to twang. Then it hit – the dreaded cramp – something I’d never ever experienced running before. I stopped, stretched then a nice first aid lady massaged it a bit, told me I hadn’t far to go (which was a bit of a lie!) and sent me on my way. It’s funny looking back now, but at the time I was really annoyed with myself. I knew I’d be finishing way slower than anticipated and I thought I’d let myself down. Then I caught a grip. I, yes I, the kid who couldn’t finish the 800m at school was running a marathon! I told myself the quicker I ran, the quicker this would all be over and I could see my friends and family. The last six miles flew by due to the amazing crowd support and before I knew it the finish line was in sight.

I didn’t realise what an emotional day it would be. I had a picture of my granny pinned to my back and looking round at what other people had displayed on their gear, it became obvious that there were thousands of stories on that course. I was a bit choked up when I crossed the line. Then a lovely volunteer lady looked me in the eye and said ‘You have just run a marathon’. Well. That made me burst into full blown, histrionic, heaving sobs. Everyone around was being very nice to me and a soldier came over and gave me a big hug! Eventually I composed myself and was re-united with my loyal supporters who’d hung around all day to cheer me on at as many places as they could. It was an amazing, amazing feeling and the buzz had carried over into today. I really hurt everywhere but it was totally, 100% worth every step.

As I said, during a race I like to dedicate a mile to someone/something meaningful to me and that really helped my on those tough miles. Tomorrow, I’ll give you a run-down, though I can’t promise it’s perfectly in order!

But for now, sleep beckons – nighty night