Two Harriers made the trip to London for the much delayed London Marathon – myself and Scott. Sadly Lynsey had to drop out due to illness, or we could have had an all Maryhill podium 😄

This was my first marathon and it was a long time coming. It was originally scheduled for April 2020, so I had been training on and off since December 2019! Conditions were perfect – dry and cool, which was a relief after spending the Saturday in London soaked to the skin with the constant rain.

The new Covid protocols meant I didn’t actually see Scott at the start, as he set off almost an hour before me. Starts were staggered in groups of 1,000 which worked really well and it was easy to get going right from the start with hardly any congestion. I quickly tagged on to a couple of runners who seemed to be about my pace – a girl running for Asthma UK, and a guy from Rodillian Runners – a club who describe themselves as small and friendly (always the best kind!). After just a couple of miles they started to gradually pull away, but I stuck to the plan and let them go, and for the first time ever in a race I was 100% relaxed.

The miles started to fly by – 6 miles in, Annette was there to cheer me on at Cutty Sark, then at 10 miles I got some big cheers from the RDA supporters who had been tracking all their fundraisers. Just as I turned my focus back to the road, my two targets from earlier were suddenly right in front of me again. I stuck with them again for a few miles, over Tower Bridge, through half way bang on target (2:04) and on to Canary Wharf. I started to feel a bit of cramp at 16 miles and was surprised to see people starting to drop like flies. The distress some people appeared to be in panicked me a bit, so I started to ease off and made a point of taking a drink at every station. The shuffling and drinking saw me through the next 6 miles and that was when the cramp REALLY hit me. I’m not a long distance runner, so I had never really experienced cramp that debilitating before, and the next 4 miles were spent jog/limping. Thank goodness for the roar of the crowds along the Embankment – what a motivator! I was glad to see Birdcage Walk and the 600m to go sign. I put on the best burst I could manage and just as I was reaching the bend to head for the palace, who did I pass, but the guy from Rodillian Runners!

That just left The Mall to go, and from years of watching on TV it always looked like a really long run to the line, but I was surprised how close it was in real life. I crossed the line in 4:34, which I was delighted with in the end, considering the pain I was in. Scott was long gone by this time, having finished in 3:54 in what was his second marathon in the space of a month – some achievement since he had spent much of the last few months injured. It’s unbelievable to think that the race winner was a full 2.5 hours ahead of me!

An amazing experience overall, but I’m not sure I’d want to do it again! Also delighted to have raised over £600 for RDA Glasgow.

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