As I write this blog I sit here trying to digest the news that I have been successful in the public ballot to get a place in the 2017 London Marathon. I have such a mixed bag of emotions – thankful that I got a place, scared that I have now got to keep my running mojo up, determined to shave at least 20 minutes off my 2016 time, and jolly, jolly, overwhelmingly, unbelievably excited!! This wasn’t exactly how I felt in October 2011.
Back then I was a runner, well a fast walker, and although I had just completed a Half Marathon in Peterborough that had pushed me to my absolute limit and the thought of doing double that distance was simply terrifying. I had lots of ‘running friends’ who all waxed lyrical about ‘London’ (when you are in the know you don’t even need to reiterate that it is a marathon!) and often shared their dismay at how hard it was to get a place to run. So when I heard that The Bright Horizons Foundation had a place in the 2012 Virgin London Marathon it was an opportunity I blindly couldn’t miss. I applied….
‘Hi Kate, thank you for showing interest in running London for The Foundation. We’d love you to.’ I seem to remember feeling sick. Very sick.
Running the London Marathon in 2012 changed my life. Dramatic I know, but 26.2 miles is kind of dramatic. I was always the one who finished last at school in anything sporty and was never on anyone’s team. Fundraising for the Foundation was an honour. It was more than an honour, it was the biggest motivation for each cold, dark, and often wet morning training run. Running when there was snow and ice on the ground in a very bitter February and missing nights out because of a Sunday morning long run. Every week edging closer to the goal of completing a marathon and supporting a worthy cause.
Race day was epic. The course, the support, the atmosphere was all almost indescribable. I hit ‘the wall’, I got blisters, I lost the odd toe nail, I felt pain I had never experienced, and vowed I would never ever do another marathon. It was totally amazing. I loved it.
2012 I completed the London Marathon for The Foundation in 5 hours 35 minutes and 27 seconds. 4 hours 37 minutes in 2016. I wonder what it will be in 2017!