I arrived in London mid morning on Saturday and headed straight to the expo to pick up my race packet and meet my friend, Vicki (she's the one that got me on the charity team to run the marathon). The expo was great, crowded, but great. Tons of vendors of all sorts and they even had a printer that could print your name on your shirt you were wearing for the marathon right then and there. In lieu of giving you a really awesome race t-shirt or even a nice finisher t-shirt. they have their sports sponser (in this case ADIDAS) come up with very appealing shirts, pants, shorts, jackets, etc that have the Virgin London Marathon 2013 logo printed on it and are for purchase. I seriously could have bought everything in there but refrained and only bought 2 things, a bright yellow wind jacket and a blue shirt (that I actually raced in) and had my name printed on the back. Overall, I was very pleased with the organization of the expo and all that it had to offer. I was was little hesitant since rumors have it that the international expos don't quite live up to those in the USofA.
After picking up my race packet and
|Yes, Luke ate all of those pizzas :-)|
I surprisingly got a decent night's sleep on Saturday and woke up around 6 to have a light breakfast and coffee before getting ready and taking the train to Greenwich (Grin-Itch) Park (where the start was) around 7. I got to the park in plenty of time to drop of my after race bag, meet up with Vicki, use the loo (we were in England, people) and just take in everything before the 10:00 start. The start of the race was so organized and I must give the VLM props for that. Organizing and herding 30,000 people can not be an easy task.
|Good thing there were plenty of portaloos! (this was in our magazine)|
|walking up the hill to the starting line|
|Danielle, Vicki and me before the race|
I won't go mile by mile on how I felt but if I could sum up the whole thing in one word it would be overwhelmed. I have never been a part of an event that had that many participates and that many spectators. I think they estimated 700,000 people total. It was hard to focus with people screaming for the entire 26.2 miles. As a runner you hope to get into your zone and actually pace yourself. As a Virgin London Marathon virgin, I did not know how to do this and I was overstimulated the whole time. My brain didn't know what to do. Usually when people are yelling that loud you are at the halfway point or at the end, not at mile 5. On the other hand, it is truly amazing to see this event so well supported and the spectators were having a great time!
The weather was amazing for a spectator but not so much for a runner who did all of her training in winter of Northern Scotland. If you regularly follow my blog you know that most of my long runs involved some sort of hurdle mostly in the form of snow/ice and really cold temps. The high on Sunday reached around 63F which was about 30 degrees warmer than any of my training runs. My body was in a bit of shock and there was a point about half way that I got a little overheated and had to douse myself with water to feel better.
|This was mile 20, still so many people around me!|
|My Fan Club!|
|The Mall, that's Buckingham Palace in the distance. So. Many. People.|
I finished with a time of 4:35:41. My goal was 4:30 or under and I was oh so close. However, considering how warm it was and the over stimulation, I am happy and it gives me a goal for next time!
|So happy to be finished!!|
A huge THANK YOU to Debbie, Luke, Kristin, Nary, Gerald and Christine for taking the time to come cheer me on! I can not imagine running that without some of your own support to look out for. I was so excited when I saw them and it gave me that extra boost to make it through. And I know I had at least that many people tracking me and cheering me on from Aberdeen, not mention a crew taking care of my hubby. Jonathan, Laine and Julia THANK YOU for making sure he didn't go crazy or hungry. I am truly blessed with some amazing friends and thank you all so, so much for your support!!
And to get a spectator's view of the race, check out Debbie's blog tomorrow!