The London Marathon takes place this Sunday (25th April). The forecast is for a pretty warm day, so hopefully the organizers will set up showers en-route.
I took part in this amazingly challenging event in 1999 (so a few years ago). I had been challenged by a male friend at an alcohol-fuelled dinner party to take part in the Marathon… Well, it seemed like a good idea at the time. Training was the hardest part; running during the winter - come rain or shine - took a lot of discipline. In comparison, the actual event was a much more enjoyable experience. That is if a 26-mile run can ever be considered enjoyable.
I ran on behalf of United Response (a local disability charity) and whenever my energies waned during training sessions, I would think about the charity. The day itself is a bit of a blur. The crowd was absolutely amazing; as were my family, who jumped on the Tube and LDR to follow me around the event. It was suggested that I wore a t-shirt with my name on it, which – as it transpires - was a great piece of advice. Spectators would call you by name and shout out words of encouragement. If I am honest, without some of these strangers cheering me on, I don't know how I would have faired. I have my medal somewhere in a draw and always feel quite proud when I come across it. Incidentally, the friend who laid down the challenge never did do the Marathon.
If you are not taking part but have a spare bit of time this Sunday, go along and shout encouragement. It is a gift to receive a bit of hope along the way.
Would I do it again? Never say never!