There is nothing more inspiring than watching a marathon, especially when you’re watching someone complete their first (or last) marathon. Yesterday I got to see Tom, (my non-runner boyfriend for those of you new to the blog) complete his first marathon, and Paula Radcliffe finish her last.
Tom had given me strict instructions that he wanted me cheering and available for high fives rather than trying to take photos, so I brought my Mum and Step Dad with me to cheer and be our official photographers. We met at Canada Water station at 9.45am and set up station to watch the elite women pass through the 14km mark. This is my favourite spot to cheer from, there’s no barriers so you are right on the course, and it never gets too crowded. Plus there’s a Starbucks and loos right near by. We cheered the elite men, bought a coffee and settled in to start scanning the crowd. The London Marathon app wasn’t working at all, so we had to rely on pace groups and predicted timings. I did spot a few friends out there and cheered loudly as they sped past.
Straight after seeing Tom we jumped on the train at Surrey Quays, to our next location at Shadwell. The route doubles back on itself here so you can see your runners at miles 13 and 22, very convenient although rather crowded. WE met a lovely group of ladies who helped me track Tom on their phones, and helped us scan the crowd. Whilst waiting for Tom, I saw my friend Lissy walk past- she looked like she was struggling slightly and I wished I could have run up to give her a hug!
Tom ran past moments later looked great and right on track. Our huge group shouted at him and managed to get his attention!
We moved down the road to get some more room and kept scanning the crowd for more friends- I managed to miss most of them though annoyingly! I got a text from a friend to say that Tom was slowing down, although I later discovered that this meant that he was walking when they saw him. He was running agin when he saw us, and he came in for a massive hug this time. He was clearly in quite a lot of pain, and said he’d had some really dark miles from 15-19. This hug was my favourite moment of the day, and later Tom told me that he really needed it to keep going. He said it was why he hadn’t wanted me to run with him, but to be on the sidelines cheering and to give him the motivation to finish. Knowing that, it makes it all worth it!
Shadwell was now rammed, with huge queues to get into the station, so our plan was to walk up to Whitechapel and get on the District line to the finish. Sadly this ended up taking us ages, and we missed Tom finishing, meeting him at the meeting points instead.
4.44- so so proud of him. He was in really good spirits afterwards, and I even overhead him saying to a friend that he would probably do another one. YES!!!
I am so inspired by all of my friends that ran the London Marathon yesterday, in particularly Leah for smashing her PR and earning her sub 5, Zoe for having a tough race but still finishing only 4 mins off her PB, and Cara for running her first marathon ever in 3.35 (mental!). Plus Susan, the Holiday Inn place winner, who ran with her niece Elaine and had a great time.
This weekend running with the Run to the Barre group, and seeing so many amazing runners complete 26.2 miles was exactly what I need to get my running mojo back…I’ll find out whether I’ve got into the Chicago ballot tomorrow- fingers crossed. I’m ready to rock it.
Have you been inspired by the London Marathon?