There are some events I can finish and completely forget about within a week, then there are a select few that I will do and they will last with me forever. Running the London Marathon is definitely one of those events! Thanks to Sports Direct Running and New Balance I was given the amazing opportunity to run one of the worlds best races! (Read here to see my lead up to the big day). Here’s a quick recap on how I thought it went!
London Marathon Morning
The day before I pigged out (as per usual) so I decided against a big breakfast. I literally had a small bottle of orange juice and a breakfast bar (which I have really started to regret as my pre race strategy) as I don’t particularly like eating that much before an event. I headed to the start pens with plenty of time on my hands, which actually lead to me waiting around (strict entrance rules meant I couldn’t get into an earlier wave). This actually lead up to a non-existent warm up just because I was already in the starting area, which as you can imagine was packed. Apart from this I was excited! Ready to run my biggest race of the year. The energy was intense as the final countdown began and we were off: it was happening, GoPro in hand, I was actually running the London Marathon!
Running the London Marathon
So I’m not going to break down every mile, don’t worry, but what I will say is that for me, this was definitely a race of 2 half’s. I started strong! Probably some of my strongest running this year! I knew I wanted a 4 hour marathon time so I wanted to stay consistent the whole way through. ‘You only stop when you are done’ were the words ringing through my head! I clearly saw the 4 hour pacer and decided that he was moving too slow for me (stupid decision) and overtook him. I felt great and was moving fluidly. I lost sight of the pacer behind me and was on track for a great race!
The crowds were awesome the whole way through, so I felt powerful: up until the halfway point. I remember seeing my wife at mile 13 and saying to her ‘Babe, I am shattered!’. I’ve done a lot of half marathons before and have never felt quite as battered as I did during this marathon. I took my mid point kiss and battled on!
I still have 11 miles of this!
The second half was honestly a battle! The crowds grew stronger which was great as this was where the race really started! I could feel my first half pace start to fall (finished the first half in around 1:53) but I was still going pretty strong. Well, this was until around mile 18! So when I did the Brighton Marathon, I didn’t feel as though I hit ‘the wall’…in London, I hit the wall like a speeding truck! Cramp was really starting to hold me back and I tried to fight the urge to stop…but I couldn’t. I paused to stretch my calf’s, quads and my side, ohh and guzzle water at the drinking station!
I thought my hydration was good but I guess not. This was followed by bouts of starting and stopping various times. This is where London really came into play! No one would pass you without showing signs of encouragement and the crowd would roar at you filling you with the confidence to keep going!
You can’t stop now
Even though they were hard as hell, miles 21 to the end were the absolute best. I managed to catch the wife one last time and the crowd were INSANE! The best cheer squads in London were out in full force! My legs were cramped, my GoPro felt as if it weighed 20kg and my body wanted me to stop, but the crowd told me to keep going! I can honestly say that I have never felt as compelled to keep going in any event like I did in the London Marathon.
I received one last tap on the shoulder for encouragement coming into the final stretch along the mall and crossed the line in 4:15! Not the goal I intended and actually 3 minutes outside of my personal best, but that couldn’t subtract from how amazing the London Marathon felt to run.
If you really want to see how supportive people can be and how much of a community London is, then you should definitely run this race. The crowds kept me going even when I wanted to stop and this is easily one of the best events I have ever completed. I would like to thank Sports Direct Running and New Balance for giving me the chance to run the London Marathon and each and every person who came out to support the runners on that’s day. Despite the pain, I loved every moment!
Did you run the London Marathon? How did you get on? What were your thoughts? Let me know in the comments below and thanks for reading!
Shoes: New Balance 1080 v9