London Marathon Race Report (Read 1351 times)


    Very long report, also can't resize pics without my computer crashing so some of them are massive! My goal for my first marathon was to get round the course without walking. I said to everyone I didn’t mind what time I got but secretly I was hoping for about 4 hours 45! I arrived in London on the Friday and registered at the expo, and then I had a nice weekend meeting with friends and sightseeing. If only I wasn’t dreading the marathon so much I may have just enjoyed it! I was running in memory of a wee boy called Angus who died last year from cancer aged 2. I had raised £2600 ($5100) so knew I HAD to finish to honour that. On the morning I got up at 7 and had breakfast of Oatibix bitesize. I hate those wee buggers, am never eating them again! So sick of them after eating huge amounts of them before every long run! The hotel was full of runners and there was a good buzz about the place. We left for the start and the tube wasn’t as crammed as I thought it might be. Got to the start and only runners were allowed in the start up area. Cue girly tears on saying goodbye to my dh! Me and my binbag set off to find a toilet and then get into my pen. I was a red start, as there are 3 starts to the marathon which merge after 3 miles. I found someone with the same charity top as me and we chatted before we started. She took a photo of me. Photobucket We went over the line at 9.55. Man that first mile was a long one. I was so nervous that my stomach was churning and I was just hoping that all the Imodium I’d taken would work. The forecast was for heavy rain so you can imagine my disgust when the sun came out. (To explain, I am from Scotland. I have done all my training in the rain. I love running in the rain. I hate running in the sun!) I actually have sunburn on my shoulders today. Those freckly white shoulders have not seen the sun for a loooooong time. At this point I felt kind of panicky as I was thinking that I would really struggle if it was in any way warm! I was also super thirsty, although it was probably mostly a dry mouth from nerves. At mile 3 there was water and I felt a bit better. I then decided to start composing my race report in my head to try and make it come true e.g I felt much better at mile 3! Sadly it didn’t work but a blast of Bon Jovi from a nearby pub cheered me up! I was really wishing at this point that I wasn’t running alone as all I could think about was the fact that I had 23 miles still to go! We merged with the other starts and it was super busy, I tripped over peoples feet a couple of times. I was not enjoying myself, far too hot and feeling like it was going to be a long day. However the crowds were brilliant, about 4 deep and everyone going nuts. There was pubs where people had dressed up as Mexicans or Cowboys and it was a real carnival atmosphere. My friend was cheering me here but I couldn’t see her although she told me later she saw me. Took a carbo gel at mile 6 and swallowed the lid by mistake! Not a great start! At mile 7 it was crazy busy round a narrow corner, to the point that everyone stopped and had to walk. Now I had said I wasn’t going to walk. So I jogged on the spot. forward slowly and from side to side, like some kind of demonic need the toilet dance! I must have looked like a complete numpty but I really wanted to say I had run the whole way! Maybe the Gods thought it was a rain dance cos at mile 8 it started pissing it down! I had the biggest smile on my face. It was like something switched in me and from then on I was happy! It rained solidly for 2 miles and those miles went by fast. Started to need the loo but didn’t want to stand in the Portaloo queue. I overtook a man dressed only in a leopard skin thong! Another carbo gel at mile 12. I felt fine, going over Tower Bridge was amazing there was so much crowd support. Everyone was shouting my name! I had friends waiting here too but just couldn’t see them and they missed me too. I was really needing a friendly face, everyone else seemed to have family in the crowd and I was feeling a bit left out! Went through half way in 2 hours 20 so was thinking I might finish in about 4 50. Then at mile 14 you could see the faster runners coming towards mile 22, man I was so jealous of them! I knew my dh and in laws were at mile 15 just after the tunnel. Man that tunnel was carnage. People puking, peeing, crapping, crying! I felt like it was like something out of a disaster movie. It was really one of the only spots where there was no crowds and it was quite surreal running through it, so quiet but disaster all around. I even saw a man vaselining his knob!!!!!! When I came out of the tunnel I could see dh, his brother and mum and dad. It was so nice to see them and I grabbed a carbo gel from dh to take at mile 18. Photobucket Miles 15 to 20 were really hard. Physically I felt fine, but I wouldn’t see anyone I knew til the end which seemed a long way away. I really needed to pee but was too stubborn to stop. I was really wishing I had brought my ipod. Lonely, I am so lonely….At this point I started imagining Zoomy at my right hand shoulder telling me to HTFU. Sholtsman you were at my left shoulder telling me I could do it. (Rockenmamof5 you were at the end in a deckchair drinking beer and telling me to get a move on!) It sounds so cheesy I know but it really helped me knowing you were all there in spirit! At mile 19 there was a piper playing Highland Cathedral which is the tune I walked out of the church to at my wedding. Cue girly tears. The last 6 miles I honestly felt fine apart from needing to pee. I kept waiting to crash but never did. Carbo gel again at 22 miles. It started to hail and rain heavily which didn't bother me. I was tempted to crank things up a notch but was too scared to incase I crashed before the end. I had a slight cramp in my left foot but apart from that felt tired but ok. I just kept my head down and kept plodding on! At mile 24 I realised I was going to make it and then I put my head up and started to enjoy the views! My dh was there at a 385 yards to go Photobucket About 100 metres later was my mum and dad (who had just returned from holiday and flown down for the day!) I thought I would cry when I saw them but my mum was so excited to see me that she nearly fell over the barrier. She was shouting “You’ve done it! You’ve done it! You’re amazing!” She looked so crazy I burst out laughing! I sprinted to the finish. Well, sprinted Freckles style which is probably the same as someone elses slow jog! Raised my arms in victory for the photographer! 4 hours 42 minutes and 43 seconds. Delighted! Here are my splits (they sent them to my dh's cell phone as I was running, pretty cool!) 5 km 0:32:29 10 km 1:05:27 15 km 1:39:47 20 km 2:13:08 half 2:20:23 25 km 2:46:19 30 km 3:20:12 35 km 3:54:28 40 km 4:28:27 finish 4:42:43 Even more delighted when you consider I did a 10k last May in I hour 20! Met up with my family. My dad had brought his 1989 London marathon medal (3 hours 32!) down as good luck so we posed together with our medals in front of Buckingham palace. Photobucket Got showered in the poshest members club EVER. My charity had hired it out and there was showers massages food etc. Nice! Then we all headed to the airport, job done! Back to Glasgow. Photobucket I can’t believe its all over and I did it! I just want to say a massive thank you to the ladies of LLR. Zoomy, sholtsman, shaunna, trishie, jilly beans, missippi, mandys, rockenmamof5, clare, teresa, etc. You have kept me motivated and inspired this past year. Same goes for the old school Jiggly Joggers, crabby, wingz, runnergabe. I honestly think I would have given up before now without you. This site has been so instrumental in my weight loss and running so a big cheesy lovely hug to you all. Love you guys, and love the fact you stalked me so superbly that you knew my official finishing time before me! I’m off on holiday for a week now to drink wine and eat shortbread! April 2007 fat April 2008 Photobucket


    You don't have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.


      Wiping Tears from my eyes..... Cry WAY TO GO FRECKLES! you are an Inspiration to women runners who struggle with their weight EVERYWHERE! Well Done, and A GREAT race report. Enjoy your Holiday and wine and shortbread... They will never taste so good I'll Bet! Sending a Hug, Cheffy Smile

      Life Goal- Stay Cancer Free, Live my Best Life

       " Choose Joy, Today and ALWAYS" 

        wow, I was doing my morning check in and thought this race report might be here... Freckles, you are amazing - this marathon is just the victory lap of all of the hard work you have done in the last year! Congratulations, from a fellow jiggly jogger A in Maine



          great job - very inspiring! congratulations on your finish!
            Wow do they make 'em tough in Scotland. Wind, rain, hail? Bring it on! For some reason I hear the Ride of the Valkyries, and picture all the other runners diving for cover as you catch lightning bolts and toss them back from whence they came. Brilliant report. The tunnel does sound fairly hellish, I can't say I've experienced anything like that (especially at the 15 mile mark...) I'm glad I wasn't drinking when I read about the "gentleman" doing roadside repair work, I would have spit my coffee all over my cube. There's absolutely no question that your wine and shortbread are well-earned. Way to go freckles!!!! MTA: a 2:20 half with a 4:42 finish shows some AMAZING consistency, really REALLY impressive. And this could be the best RA race report visual ever:
            At this point I started imagining Zoomy at my right hand shoulder telling me to HTFU. Sholtsman you were at my left shoulder telling me I could do it. (Rockenmamof5 you were at the end in a deckchair drinking beer and telling me to get a move on!)

            Greater Lowell Road Runners
            Cry havoc and let slip the dawgs of war!

            May the road rise to meet you, may the wind be always at your back, may the sun shine warm upon your SPF30, may the rains fall soft upon your sweat-wicking hat, and until you hit the finish line may The Flying Spaghetti Monster hold you in the hollow of His Noodly Appendage.


              What a wonderful report of your experience! Big grin Congratulations, Freckles!! yay!!

              Love, Run, Sleep

                GREAT RACE REPORT!!!! CONGRATS again Freckles!!!! And OMG what a transformation you have made this past year!!! OMG the things you saw in that tunnel Shocked Only in a marathon. GREAT pictures!!! As Ayola said "Freckles, you are amazing - this marathon is just the victory lap of all of the hard work you have done in the last year!"

                Your toughness is made up of equal parts persistence and experience. You don't so much outrun your opponents as outlast and outsmart them, and the toughest opponent of all is the one inside your head." - Joe Henderson

                dork.major dork.

                  AMAZING RACE REPORT!! Congratulations, you are such an inspiration. (And I have to say that I love that the shirts in both pictures at the end are the **SAME** color of bright pink, you rock)

                  Reaching 1,243 in 2008 -- one day, one week, one mile at a time.

                  Think Whirled Peas

                    Congrats! Excellent report, very inspiring! You RAWKED your first marathon! Enjoy your time off now!

                    Just because running is simple does not mean it is easy.


                    Relentless. Forward. Motion. <repeat>

                    The Greatest of All Time

                      Congratulations. Very inspiring. Thank you for sharing.
                      all you touch and all you see, is all your life will ever be

                      Obesity is a disease. Yes, a disease where nothing tastes bad...except salads.

                      A Saucy Wench

                        Awesome job Freckles!!!!!!!

                        I have become Death, the destroyer of electronic gadgets


                        "When I got too tired to run anymore I just pretended I wasnt tired and kept running anyway" - dd, age 7


                          So, was the guy vaselining his knob one of the runners? Big grin This is one of those acheivements that I think are really amazing. Looking at your picture from a year ago to where you are now and your ability to run such an even paced marathon. I was perusing your training log and it's quite telling how consistent you are in your long runs and then your marathon. You seem like one of these people that can probably run on forever. It makes me jealous because the really long stuff is quite difficult for me. Wonderful report and a wonderful story. Congrats!
                            Great race report Freckles!!! CONGRATS!!!!!

                            It's supposed to be hard. If it wasn't hard, everyone would do it. The hard is what makes it great. ~ Jimmy Dugan

                              Freckles, It has been so fun to "watch" your training and weight loss progress. I knew you'd rock this marathon since you were so prepared, but I still loved reading your report. I still can't get over your before and after pictures.... your progress is inspirational! I am so impressed with how you ran your race, those even splits and running the whole way! Congrats again girl and ENJOY your vacation, it is well-earned! Shaunna Smile
                                Very nicely done! Congratulations. Inspirational to see how far you've come in a year. Thank you.

                                Runners run