I last completed the London Marathon on April 14, 2002. My feelings at the end of that day were completely mixed. I both loved the whole day as well as felt so disappointed with the last six miles I ran (and therefore my time). But that’s the London Marathon, it is like no other feeling, running along with so many people running with you and encouraging you on, and just so many more people watching and offering words of encouragement, be they spectators or volunteers. You just have to get to the end and cross the finish line, even if your legs no longer want to work and you have to walk part of the way; you still get so much encouragement to keep going. So I was disappointed with my time. It took me 16 minutes to get to reach the start line (not counted in my time) but I’d reached the half way point (13.1 miles) in 1:31 (h:mm) feeling great and running smoothly, so was on for a good time (for me). Here’s how I did at the end of the race:
I finished in 4:15 (h:mm). So the second half of the race I did in 2:44 (h:mm) a lot slower than the elite runners for the whole thing! But then I had hobbled from mile 18 to mile 26 and my good time just slipped away. As such every year since then I have watched the London Marathon on TV, and even though I no longer run have still my application when the ballot has opened as I want that feeling again. By October, having not run, and having so much to do at work and with the family, I’m almost relieved to receive the email saying “Sorry, you have not been successful”.
I’ve still got my finishers t-shirt from the 2002 marathon:
This time it’s different. There are different goals. I want to show that after bowel cancer you can bounce back and complete a marathon. I’m not looking for a fat, or even good time. Yes I will do training, No it won’t be anything like when I was running six out of seven days a week, and could knock out a 20-25 mile run on a Sunday week in week out, and was doing 100 miles a week. Now it’s about getting around, feeling that buzz that you get from just being involved in such a race, and at the same time knowing that thanks to many friends the money raised will go to support Bowel Cancer charities. If you can help, please support me in my next Virgin Money London Marathon by supporting Bowel Cancer UK 🙂
If you haven’t already please visit my Facebook Page “Charity Runner Neil”, click on “LIKE” and then let your friends know too 🙂
Lots will be going on there about the events, sponors, and fundraising for this project – http://bit.ly/neil4bc