I did it!
4 hours 40 minutes 51 seconds of my life I will never forget.
Run For It
I raised more than £2,000 for ‘Run For It’ a collaboration between AgeUK and YouthNET. To find out more about them you can check out: http://www.runforit.org.uk/. A huge thank you all 51 of my sponsors. You can still sponsor me: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/MartinInsley.
The support I received from the charity at all stages of my marathon journey was fantastic. It felt great to be part of a team.
I don’t want to give the false impression that there was no pain or low points.
For now lets concentrate on the high’s!
Grand Canyon Training Run
An amazing 15 day holiday with the family to the south west USA 3 weeks before the big day was an opportunity to rest. A short run along the Grand Canyon South Rim Trail was incredible.
Hundreds of Random People Chanting My Name
A few days before the big day I reluctantly decided to use the iron-on letters provided by ‘Run For It’ and have ‘Martin’ on the front of my running vest. Such a great decision! Throughout the whole course but especially towards the end it was such a motivation to have hundreds of complete strangers willing me to keep going. Its a weird feeling and probably the closest I will ever get to fame and stardom!
Respect for BOSton
The whistle blew to signal the start of a 30s silence. More than 35,000 fellow runners at the start line of the London Marathon and you could hear a pin drop. An incredibly moving sign of respect for those affected by the terrible attack at the Boston Marathon.
Crossing the Start Line
The downside of mass participation events like the London Marathon is that it takes some time to actually reach the start line once the event starts. In my case it was 10 minutes. A great feeling to be finally underway and put some of the months of training to the test.
Drums in the deep
A percussion group under the Woolwich Road Flyover played a fantastic beat that seemed to resonate throughout my body and gave a whole new feeling to a very familiar place.
Tower Bridge and Half Way
Tower Bridge is such an iconic image of the London Marathon. I was oddly reminded of crossing the Tyne Bridge running the Great North Run in 2007. At halfway you can start to ‘smell’ the finish and I was really pleased with my 2.07 split at this point.
I saw Nic, George, Eliza, Joe, Billy and Evelyn for the first time on the course having missed them going the wrong way around the Woolwich Ferry roundabout a few hours earlier. It was a lift to the spirits much needed by this point.
The streets had been lined with spectators from the outset so it was quite odd to be running through a tunnel with only music and no people! A chance to gather the thoughts and try and dig deep for the remaining few miles.
Turning the corner at Westminster
It didn’t matter how much I was hurting. I somehow found the strength to run continuously from this point. The 200m markers positioned up Birdcage Walk showed just how close I was to completing one of the toughest endurance events of my life so far.
Turning the corner to The Mall
Sorry for another corner. Having very little left my entire body lit up when I saw the finish line for the first time and realised I really was going to make it. A huge smile spread across my face and my arms went up in the air. I dragged some energy from the very depths of my legs and decided it was the perfect time to sprint the last 200m and cross the finish line in style!
What can I say – awesome.
Reuniting with the family
To avoid crowds I met Nic, George, Eliza, Joe, Billy and Evelyn at North Greenwich. Such a great feeling to have George running up with his arms wide open beaming at my medal!
The journey home
The bizarre experience of being congratulated by random strangers in the street across London. That feeling of stardom returned!
Less than 1 week after completing the London Marathon I am able to walk up and down stairs without grimacing. I cannot wait to start running again.
Another Marathon? Absolutely.
At some point I will attempt the Bob Graham Round. Three Marathon’s across some of the most challenging terrain in England in 24 hours.
For now I think I will enjoy reliving the moment of crossing the London Marathon finish line and some local running for pleasure.