2016 London Marathon Report - By Kerry O'May

posted 28 Apr 2016, 11:29 by Enquiries campbeltownrunningclub

It was race day!  I wakened at 5:30am and had slept great.  I had everything organised the night before.  My training had gone well and I was so excited for this - I was ready for it!  Walking up to the start from Blackheath Station the woman walking beside me looked petrified.  Her training hadn't gone well and she had been injured.  My positive attitude and encouraging words calmed her and she was so grateful that I had spoken to her and she felt a bit better heading into the start.  I met Robert, and while chatting he mentioned his gels - I didn't have mine! I had left my belt on my bed in the hotel room!  This was not how I had planned my race!  There was nowhere at the start to get any! 'oh no! What was I going to do' Robert gave me one and calmed me! This was also my first experience of using women urinals.   


Off to my starting zone! It was very crowded in there.  Usually it's at the end of a race I get dizzy and disoriented because there's to many people - this was a first on the start line.  After composing myself and 'replanning my race without my gels and speaking with other runners my positive attitude returned! And I was off!  


It was crazy at the start with so many other runners.  Took me a while to get used to running with so many runners around me.  After a couple of miles I got used to it, but for the first time ever I needed the toilet on a run! Mile 4 I had a toilet stop.  I got so annoyed at queue jumpers - there could have been a fight here haha!  


I had met a guy that Robert had travelled down on the train with earlier.  We chatted for a bit then I ran ahead.  Just before mile 8 I stood on a water bottle, went over my ankle and thankfully the women behind me caught me and stopped me from falling!  The initial pain was agony and I had to stop and go to the side! Surely this is not over was going through my head!  It seemed like ages but was only a couple minutes and I was on my way again and soon forgot about it.  There was a shower of hail stones and the runners around me started screaming.  I just laughed, this is what I was used to 😀 


The crowds blew me away.  The shouts of 'Kerry' and 'Come on Campbeltown' I was totally overwhelmed! High fiving the kids it was the most amazing atmosphere I have experienced!  The cheers on Tower Bridge were so loud - I was like 'OMG' I slowed down just to take it all in.  I wanted to enjoy this amazing moment and remember it!  


Halfway round I really enjoyed cheering the elite runners who were running in the opposite direction on the other side.  They were flying!  The live bands were great and it was nice to have a wee sing song if they were playing a song I knew! I did love the bagpipes and gave a big cheer when I passed. 


Mile 14 a gel stop! I had survived without taking them at every 4 miles like I had planned and trained.  Do they really work or is it all in the mind?  I took 4 from them anyway!  The race was going so quick and the miles were flying by.  Mile 20 and I was surprised by how good I was feeling.  I only had 10K to go so I upped my pace - just a little.  Heading back down the dual where I had seen the elite runners I was cheering on the runners on the other side.  Soon I had reached 23 miles and felt awesome.  The crowds were getting bigger and noisier! It was time to up my pace. I realised the race was nearly all over at mile 25 and this it where I got a bit emotional and shed a wee tear.  I had thought it would have happened at the finish.  The crowd was phenomenal running along birdcage walk.  Round the corner and into the mall it was time for my sprint finish and I was going to pass as many runners as I could.  I crossed the finish line feeling awesome and I loved every moment of my first marathon. 


The lady putting my medal round my neck said 'you really don't look like you have just ran a marathon' and I didn't feel like I had.  And that was my aim when I first took on this challenge - to finish, enjoy it and finish it strong and that's just what I did!  A time wasn't important to me but I am delighted to run 3 hours 55mins!  The encouragement and good luck and well done wishes from everyone totally amazed me as well! Time to plan my next one!