Martin’s race of a lifetime
I have been running for a number of years but have only made it to the half marathon distance so I decided to make the commitment and go for the full marathon. The decision to run for Emmaus was straight forward as I have been involved with their work for more than two years and have seen the positive impact it can have on individual’s lives. Emmaus is a great concept which looks to equip people with the skills they need to rebuild their lives. What’s more it really works! The money I have raised through running the marathon will have a real impact on people’s lives.
I decided to follow the London Marathon 17-week beginner training programme which is published on their website. The real commitment to the marathon is not the day itself but the training programme because if you have a busy life, it will mean early morning starts in bad weather. I got the support of a local gym and did my runs during the week on a treadmill which helped me. But I did look at my watch on a number of occasions and think: “What am I doing in the gym at 6:30 in the morning?” The other thing you need to commit to is a healthy drinking and eating regime. You do start to question what you are eating and drinking more and I lost about a stone in weight during the 17 weeks.
By the time the race arrives you will be ready, 17 weeks is a long time. I was pleased as I had managed to be injury free, had only missed a couple of long runs due to illness and had a plan for the race including when I was going to eat. I had planned my journey to the start and had attended the Expo in Excel on the Friday where you register. I was ready. I was also very clear about what I was going to wear but then the weather forecast was changing by the day so I needed to take both dry and wet running gear. It actually turned out to be a good day for running.
Running through the streets of London was an amazing experience. The crowds line the whole route and get bigger as you reach the end. Running down the Embankment and up to the finish line with everyone screaming your name is an experience which will stay with me forever. It makes you feel like a superstar.
The only landmarks I really remember were Big Ben and the Docklands, where I was looking to meet my family. I did see the Shard but you can’t miss it really!
You also have to be really impressed by your fellow runners who are wearing costumes. It not only brings a smile to your face but does make you think: “Why?” I almost got run over by Peppa Pig which was an experience!
It was quite emotional crossing the line. I missed my target time of 4:40 but everything I had read said that I would, as your first marathon is always the hardest to pace. It was hard work, but I can now say that I am a marathon runner and I have completed the London Marathon.