Ok , ok so I’m cheating on 2 accounts here, firstly I had already done this one before even thinking of doing my bucket list and secondly I didn’t run it, however I did complete it before the official marathon clock was finished.
So a little of the story behind my reasoning. At 15 a girl I had grown up with died unexpectedly of an undetected heart condition. Then again when I was 20 one of my scout’s at a mere age of 11 again collapsed and died of an undetected heart condition. It hit me more with James, not because I was closer to him from the contrary. It was because I am a mum now and the thought of losing one of my boys all because they hadn’t had a scan on their heart. I became enraged and determined to help in what ever cause I could to get the name of C.R.Y out there.
Cardiac Risk in the Young are a charity there were founded in 1995 to raise awareness of the conditions that can lead to young sudden cardiac death and Sudden Death Syndrome. They set up their charity because on average in the UK 12 under 25’s die weekly from undiagnosed heart conditions.
CRY’s Vision 2011: to work with cardiologists and family doctors to promote and protect the cardiac health of our young by establishing good practice and screening facilities devoted to significantly reduce the frequency of young sudden cardiac death throughout the UK.
So I needed to raise money. But how? What could I do that people would never think I, little old me would be able to do? I know I will apply for the London Marathon. I will never get a place. Ha how wrong was I?
Early October 2009 everyone else is getting their rejection letters through the post. However mine didn’t come through as a rejection. I got in, holy shit I actually got a place. Oh fuck I might need to actually train now, hmmmm better buy some running shoes then hadn’t I???
So training started. I mapped out a 3k route. The first few times it killed me. I couldn’t run for more than 1k and the burn kicked in so I would walk the rest. I could see people laughing at me, wondering what the hell this insane woman was attempting? I upped it to a 6k over time doing the run before the school run in the morning. My face would be fuchsia and along with my bright yellow jacket that my husband bought me I looked a right state.
It got to February and I realised I needed to do a big run. So 2 mile from my house is the Wirral Way- a 12.5 mile bridle/walking/cycle route. How perfect I could do a little over a half marathon. I did it. It killed me, I thought I
was dying, with my pelvis in agony I thought I wasn’t going to be able to do it. I hit my wall, it took everything in my husband to get me to go back out again. So I did the route again. Left the house at 6am and I managed to do the 14.5miles and then some. I actually managed 20 miles that day. Then the penny dropped. I knew the only thing what would hold me back from completing it on the day would be myself. It may have taken me all day but as long as I got over that line did it really matter how long it took me.
The fundraising began. I pestered everyone in school, friends, did Ann Summers parties to raise the money. Plastered my justgiving page all over facebook daily. My kind friend Alyson – donated all of her earnings from thank you’s and invitations towards my cause. The generosity of people was overwhelming. Parents at school where giving me £30, they hardly knew me. A random stranger that to this day I still don’t know gave me £20 on my justgiving page. However it was the Friday before the marathon when I had gone to The Excel to get my running number that I had seen James’ parents had topped up my fundraising to £1000. I broke down and cried, there in the middle of the excel was me sobbing on the floor. People had belief in me. They knew something about me that I seriously didn’t know about myself. I felt the most humbled in my entire life.
The day came, we got the tube and then it hit me how many people were running this thing.
It was an ocean of runners and supporters alike. I took my before picture for my boys. I wore boppers so that if the case maybe people would be able to see me on the telly. I had tonnes of Good Luck messages and phone calls. And as we stepped off the train at Blackheath the heavens opened. I walked across the heath and the closer I got to my coloured entrance the nerves started. I kissed goodbye to Chris, for what strangely felt like the last time. My own personal burden had got to me then. I walked and walked and walked till i got to my pen number – 9. I was literally at the back and that is where I was happy to stay.
The horn blew my heart sank. I was off. I stepped over the line at 10:13am and that is when my day began.
I got to the 1 mile mark, I was going quiet smooth running at a pace that was me. I was happy. I kept running and the mile markers kept coming. I got to the 6 mile point the Cutty Sark – Tuffer was going to be there. I needed him all of a sudden. My eyes wandered everywhere. Watching people giving loving kisses and hugs to loved ones. Hearing people cheer people on by name. it was getting to me. I needed my husband. I needed my one-man band. I turned the bend, he was there. I think I cried. I kissed him, hugged him, my entire heart loved him more than than I think I have ever done before.
I was a quarter of the way through I had actually gotten that far. First toilet break and facebook update lol. Well there was a cue so it seemed only fair to update my fans,haha. After that is was full pelt, then all of a sudden I saw Tower Bridge – The half way point had come at the blink of an eye. If I could bottle the feeling going over that half way mark and sell it I would. Hannah, Ben, Smera and Chris were all there to watch this. Chris said my face was one of belief, and I know what he means. I knew there and then that no matter what I was going to finish.
Then mile 17 happened. My hip came out-of-place. Canary Wharf. What a horrible cold place. I hit my wall. No-one was there. My Charity were supposed to be there to cheer me on, but they must have moved on to the next cheer point at mile 23. Helped the Heroes amazing as they are over-took me. They had limbs missing and huge backpacks on, however they were over taking me. I was basically at a stand still I was walking that slow. I was worn out, had enough and the feeling of crying with no fluid physically coming out of my eyes was surreal to say the least. Then I see this mirage come running towards me. I thought it was Chris, as I needed it to be Chris. Again in my hour of need he was there, to carry me over the 23 mile mark, to push me. 1 mile he walked with me making sure I wouldn’t stop. Hannah could barely look at me as the pain was unreal on my face. Chris re informed me of all the people who were needing me to finish this so kissed me and left me. And I decided then that I had a little over 3 miles left and if it took me all day, then I would do it.
And it did take me a long time to get to mile 25 mile mark it took me another hour. However I had gone into a delirious mood. I didn’t care. All I wanted was to finish and to see Big Ben.
A sight for sore eyes (or feet and legs in my case)
And there is was the finish line. With the man on the tannoy saying there was 30 seconds left until the official timer was turned off. A switch was turned on inside me and this energy came from no-where and I legged it. And I made it I was the last person over the finish line in an official time of 2010 London Marathon.
I broke down once I stepped through but again no fluid came out. Once you realise that you can’t cry
and you have no-one you know around you, you move on quickly. I looked up to find a motorway of trucks with all of the bags of stuff. I received my medal and got to Chris as quickly as I could. Also looking for the giant
C.R.Y heart that was taking me to the Hilton to my promised food, shower and massage. I found the woman and Chris and she told me where the minibus was. No joking she pointed at a double flight of maybe 50 steps to climb. I thought I was on candid camera. I changed into my flip-flops and climbed Everest. Once at the top a lady asked for my photograph. I happily did. So here is my after picture. Yes I look awful. But do you know what it is one of the best photograph that has ever been taken of me. 6 hours 46 minutes and 39 seconds of hard work made that picture, I earned that medal.
Thank you for listening to my little story. This was the best, hardest and single most rewarding day of my life. Would I do it again – HELL NO – I’m slightly loopy but not completely insane. However if you have been touched by my story then please please donate some money to C.R.Y even if it’s just a pound.