Monday 1 June 2015

Francis runs London Marathon #finishline

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Sunday morning Greenwich Park, Sunday 26 April 2015

Wow, I can’t believe  that  I’m here with 37,550 more runners about to take part in what will for some of us be the  biggest running challenge of our lives.

As we line up in our allotted time pens I nervously chat to other runners.  One in particular is a chap who is running for a prostate cancer charity.  His name is Jeremy Squib (SQUIBBY) who tells me he is a 9 minute miler but hasn’t trained for a few weeks due to a knee injury and hopes he can last out to halfway before he is expecting to walk/run the rest of the way.  I tell him that I’m on a 11 minute 27 second mile pace and hope to be finishing around the five hour mark, so we make a pact to run together no matter what.

When we hear the gun for the start go off the air is fizzing, electrifying, so many people’s dreams and aspirations are about to be realised. 

What you don’t expect is the crowd support.  There are people everywhere.  It’s alive; they’re all cheering you on.  I was overwhelmed by it all to be honest.  It was brilliant, a truly amazing atmosphere.

I ran down the right hand side of the course high-fiving every person who stuck their hand out.  What a brilliant gesture of acknowledgement, it made everybody’s day.

Turning into the mall and seeing the finish, me and SQUIBBY said to each other ‘this is it’.  We ran tall, ran strong, a sudden lift of spirits, we  joined hands as a gesture of friendship and respect and crossed the finish line together to celebrate our marathon success in a time of 5 hours 2 minutes 54 seconds.

When you receive your medal the sense of achievement and pure pride overrides the pain you will be feeling. 

You feel exhausted and overjoyed, this euphoric mixture has lasted for weeks.  What an incredible journey of dedication, motivation and determination.

At a point, the human body reaches a level of exhaustion and then it’s up to the human spirit to propel you along.

When that little voice of self doubt surfaces, how will you respond?  What are you made of?

A marathon will test you in ways you’ve never been tested before.

I run for a reason and a cause I fully believe in. I am proud to have been one of the Team Emmaus runners at the London Marathon.  We were there helping real people and changing their lives for the better.

I can’t express my gratitude to all those people who supported me, my heart felt thanks goes out to you all.

Francis Mantle

Francis Mantle Marathon Day 2

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