It was an absolute pleasure to be able to run for CRY at this years London Marathon.
Firstly I’d like to say a massive thank you to all the staff, volunteers etc. at CRY who run the charity and organise everything. It had long been a goal of mine to complete this run for CRY in memory of my friend James who passed away in 2014 and all of you were so helpful, right through from the support after James’ death & receiving my own heart check, to my application to run the marathon & all the way through to the meet & great after the run. I feel proud to have run for such a great charity that will always have a space in my heart.
A few years after my friend James passed away, and after being inspired by his girlfriend and other friends who ran the London Marathon for CRY, I decided that having lived around London and it being such an iconic race and city, I wanted to give it a go as my first ever Marathon. In 2019 I took the plunge to apply for a charity place through CRY after missing out on the ballot for a couple of years. I doubted myself for a while (1 because I’d only ever run as far as half marathon & 2 because I was nervous I’d be able to raise enough to meet my pledge – turns out I had no issues with either in the end!!).
In 2020 COVID hit, with the marathon being postponed, I continued to train, but things got quite busy when I welcomed my first child later that year! I was then all ready to run again in 2021, only to be struck by a virus on the eve of the marathon! CRY were so supportive and rolled my place over again to 2022, and finally after 1,000 days from my first training run, I was at the start line on Blackheath Common.
The race itself was such a brilliant experience (even if I didn’t think so in the last couple of miles!), all my pacing went out the window for the first 13 miles, the crowd was amazing and there was no way I could slow myself down! It was great to have so many people shouting your name, handing out high fives and to see so many CRY supporters along the way. The best moments were seeing family & friends and other unexpected supporters along the route. Then I was into the last 4 miles and it was mainly my stomach that became uncomfortable, but it all seemed to get very hard and being able to enjoy the crowd and sights had suddenly stopped and I was focused on just getting to the end, I think this is where the lack of pacing may have let me down!
Crossing the finish line was a great moment, being able to pay tribute to my friend James, it wasn’t really until a few days later when it all sunk in, how amazing it felt.
I finished a couple minutes faster than my initial predicted time, secretly I hoped to finish in 4hrs, but in the end I was happy with a 4:11:00 on my first ever marathon!
Since the marathon finished I received further sponsorship from friends & family that I really wasn’t expecting. I was pleased that I had reached my initial pledge in 2021 and starting thinking I may even double that, I was blown away by some of the donations received and it made me feel really proud, I was so glad I could raise so much for CRY. All the training over the years had paid off!
Again, many thanks to all at CRY who made it possible and supported me over this journey.