Monday, 23 April 2012

Marathon highs and lows

Friday morning finally arrived and off we set to Bradford Interchange to catch our coach to London for the Marathon weekend.  Like a bunch of school kids we boarded the coach and after a stop off for refreshments we soon found ourselves at Excel for the Marathon Expo. That really is the start of it as Docklands and the O2 come into view, it's confirmation that you are really in London. Runners duly registered and goody bags collected we filed back onto the coach.
No going back now!

Next stop, Britannia International Hotel.

Plush isn't in it.  When we were finally issued with our room keys we excitedly went to find or rooms. Ours didn't disappoint, complete with jacuzzi bath it looked like we were in for a very comfortable weekend!

We decided to visit a music experience at the O2 on Saturday as they also had a Philip Lynott exhibition for a limited time too.  Being Lizzy fans for more years than we care to remember we considered it  a 'must'.  A great day was had by all and we didn't return to the hotel until 6 pm.

Here began the experience of the other side of marathon running, spectating whilst a loved one is running. Rising early for the 'runner's breakfast' Martin and I went down to the dining room, he found it difficult to eat but finally managed some porridge so I knew the nerves were kicking in even though he was putting a brave face on. I knew how he felt and this made me nervous.

As the runners Departed at 7:30 for the Docklands Light Railway to the start, I had to rush away from the group as I felt myself getting upset and didn't want to make Martin feel any worse than he already did. It was clear now then that this was going to be an emotional rollercoaster from start to finish.  It wasn't too bad initially as we clapped and cheered local club runners in, I got uncontrollably excited when I spotted people or clubs I knew! I was quite alright until club mate Lyndon passed us and then I started to worry, we were tracking Martin's run on a phone app, by 30k info stopped filtering through, I began to panic thinking he wasn't getting to that distance.  I was so relieved when he appeared, I saw him from a few feet away and still don't know how I stopped myself from getting over the barrier - I hugged him, and didn't want to let go! It turned out the app was sticking but it's no wonder given the amount of people who would have been using it on the day. Eventually off he went carrying on his journey.  Again I knew how he felt as he carried on leaving us behind, although it's a boost once you pass the point you have been looking forward to you have to carry on using all your resolve to keep yourself going and in this case knowing you have another 8 miles still to do. My day was brightened though when a mankini clad man came by, everything wobbling around!

Darting off to the finish to try and be there when at least some of our runners crossed the finish line we were faced with immense crowds, closed tube entrances and pouring rain! We got there eventually and sat waiting tentatively by the tree marked QR - we had agreed to wait by the letter for Lyndon (Ross) and soon after Lyndon appeared, not a happy bunny and in pain. I felt it for him.  It seemed quite a while before Martin arrived, he had sneaked around the back and came at us from the opposite angle to where all the other finishers were coming.  Again my emotions took over and I hugged him for England, sobbing uncontrollably. I ordered him never to do that again, unless we do it together of course.......

A while afterwards Martin declared.......
"I achieved what I aimed to do which was cross the finishing line, not on my hands and knees, not puking up and  not feeling like I was going to die!"  I know he would have liked a quicker time but in the marathon game there really is a time when you have to accept the enormity of what you have just achieved - especially us novices!
Please Release me!
Let it all hang out!


  1. We were at home tracking them all - for me it was in between sobs too! Massive respect to them all, eh?
    As for mankini man, were you saying it was 'this' big, Julie?....... I'll get my coat!

  2. Eyes forward - trying to make the hands meet to make a 'clapping' sound!! At least lots of people will have smiled as he passed them by!