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2017 London Marathon Runners Stories

For the 2017 Marathon the British Airways Athletics Club provided a huge team of people to help with the running of the marathon.  Over 140 sector managers, deputies, team leaders and helpers were rostered on marathon day. In return, we received a score of places from the organisers.  Here are the race day stories of some of our runners this year…..

Sarah Ayers

What a fantastic experience - can I echo the thanks to BAAC and to our group of runners for the opportunity to run and to support each other on the way.  I have to say also that I think the organisation of the event on the day and the fab marshalling teams are something we should be very proud off! 

My journey started at Morden, catching the tube with many excited mini-marathoners and anxious looking adult runners. 

There was a lovely community atmosphere from the very start and  this for me, was so special. The event seems to inspire everyone with such positivity and friendliness! I met so many lovely people: on the way there, queuing for the loos in the cold at Greenwich, chatting in the masses queue way back in pen 9, holding hands with a lady at mile 22 when we both needed some moral support, being congratulated by strangers on the way home. 

My start time was 10:27 and I spent the early miles with an assortment of rhinos and rather tunefully, karaoke man. 

The first half went well but knees and hips were making their presence felt by 18 miles. I reached Tower Hill when I started to feel an unfamiliar and daunting sickness. I really felt the route's relative darkness and coldness at that point! However the cheering of the crowds and the thought of family marshalling at Parliament Square spurred me on. The last mile is a killer - I have to say that Birdcage Walk goes on forever and must surely be a longer distance than we are told!! 

Crossed the line in 4:53, 3 minutes slower than my first marathon three years ago and I had in my heart of hearts hoped to better that - maybe next time? 

Thanks again and best wishes everyone for future challenges! 

Sarah Ayers

Lesley Chamberlin

Well, where do I begin?  Firstly, I have to say the biggest thank you to Steve and all at BAAC for giving me the most amazing opportunity. It has been a lifelong dream to run the London Marathon and I was not disappointed.

I knew it was going to be a good day when I got onto the train at West Ewell at 7:27, along with many other runners, everyone was chatting and in good humour, a real buzz  and lots of excitement about the day ahead.

I met my running buddy Jill at Waterloo, who has spent many hours, early Sunday mornings running along towpaths with me and offering support and advice.  Jill, taking no chances, made sure I reached Greenwich as I can be a bit accident prone.

It took forever, to cross the start line but from the off I had the time of my life! I took it all in, each landmark, the crowds were amazing and overall I managed to keep up a constant pace. Even, my ‘dodgy’ knee held up! I do feel blessed as I was told about 18 months ago that I should not run. I (rightly) decided to ignore medical advice and here I am today.

My highlights, were seeing my family at Bermondsey and then again at mile 24.  At this point I knew where they would be as I had stood on the same spot for years cheering on my brother. Mile 24 was special, as my Dad who had been left in a pub early in the morning, waited very patiently for a glimpse of me. So I was delighted that I was able to give my Dad a big hug, which completely made his day. I am not sure how though, but I missed seeing any of my wonderful marshal friends at the various points.  My friend Eithne was at Parliament Hill with Paul Neat and I missed them both. I only managed to see John Paton later on.

I waited to hit the ‘ wall’ I had heard so much about but did not, too high on adrenaline I think.  Although, I have to admit the last 800 metres nearly killed me.  I thought I would never reach the finish line.  I was pleased with my time of 4hrs 31min and 2secs.

I ran for the Willow Foundation and I can not praise them highly enough for their support.  The Willow foundation provides, emotional/psychological  support, special memories and special days for young people with terminal illness or cancer.  It was set up by Bob Wilson (Arsenal Goal keeper) as a lasting legacy to his daughter who died at the age of 30 from cancer.

So, when I crossed the line and was feeling a bit disorientated but knew I had to get to the recovery centre (Stratford Hotel ******). So, imagine my delight when I saw a few people at the end of the mall in purple shirts ready to great me (volunteers from Willow) the lovely NIck carried my bags and walked me to the hotel. On the corner of the hotel was Bob Wilson and his wife ready to give me a big hug and thank me for running for Willow. I had an amazing shower and massage. All my family were there also to greet me. The lovely Jill also appeared with a bottle of Champagne – Does life get any better!!

You may have seen on the news about the couple that got married on the Cutty Sark before the race and then run the marathon. So the Groom also ran for Willow, so also at the recovery centre was a wedding reception, cake, buffet and a welcome party to greet them.

I had a few muscle aches on Monday but Tuesday back to work, cycled in and generally all back to normal now. In fact doing the Milton Keynes Half Marathon on Monday.

Thank you again to BAAC…, all my family and friends, Neil for arranging the 20 mile training run. I had the time of my life and a memory to last a lifetime.  I would so love to do it all over again next year.

Hope to see you all soon.

Lesley Chamberlin

Neil Frediani

Oh well, that didn’t go as well as I expected and had hoped. Better trained, better time I thought, easy. Well I knew it wouldn’t be easy, honest.

The predicted perfect weather conditions weren’t quite so perfect, I have the tan line to prove it. I set off at too hot a pace and then just got hotter and slower. Even though I knew that I shouldn’t I was effortlessly running at 8:30 per mile for the first 4 then started to settle into a more sensible pace. By 12 miles my feet had expanded and were feeling really tight so I had to stop and loosen shoes. The next ten miles were a mixture of running and walking and despairing at my lack of strength before gathering myself for a steady run to the finish. I can’t remember finishing a race without being able to raise a gallop but this time I couldn’t, absolutely nothing there. The realisation that my target had gone out the window a long time before meant that I had a chance to pick out some marshals as I passed through the BA zones. That was really nice. The crowd the whole way around were amazing, every year they get bigger. The number of trays of sweets and cakes being held out this year was unbelievable.

My hoped for time was about 3:55, I predicted 4:07 just to be realistic and ran 4:28.

Will I do it again? Hmmm, having done 3 in a row I will take a rest or run somewhere else next year unless I get an unlikely public ballot place.

Neil Frediani

John Lennon

Having very much enjoyed taking things easy in the lead up to the big day I spent the evening before getting everything ready for my 6.30am start on Sunday. Trainers-check, socks-check, shorts, running top, HMSA charity vest-check. Race number on vest, chip timer secured to trainer-check. Then pack change of clothes bag-check. Make porridge and leave in fridge overnight-check. Ready to rock ‘n’ roll. Early night-no, not exactly, as too much faffing around.

Sunday morning, up with the alarm at 5.30, quick shower, running gear on and plenty of time still before being picked up at 6.30. Check bag again-baggage ticket securely attached. My chariot arrives and I leap out the door largely ignoring the nagging feeling that I’d forgotten something. Quick frisk to confirm I had my phone, watch and some money and off we go. As we are waiting to board the mini bus, the excitement all around a tangible thing, I hear those fateful words “I’ve been up half the morning making porridge!”. Not to worry, I was only off to run 26.2 miles and my fuel to help me do it was still in the fridge at home. So my first thank yous were liberally handed out to those who provided me with breakfast-Guilaine for the fig rolls, Laura for the banana and especially Neil for the slice of bread pudding. At the race village I did go on the hunt for porridge but in vain although I did manage to grab a coffee. The trip round the South Circular was very pleasant in the company of Maria, whose boundless enthusiasm is so infectious. It was also a nostalgic trip as I hadn’t been over that way for many years despite having bought my first flat in Forest Hill. We went past the top of my old road and past the Blyth Hill Tavern where I probably spent more of my waking time than I did in the flat!

At the race village I sat in a marquee with Graham T, Guilaine, Laura, Neil and Trish. Very conducive to a chilled morning-the old hands being very relaxed and calming down us very excited debutants. Scrounged breakfast all eaten we strolled to the baggage trucks and deposited everything that wasn’t going with us. A few more “good lucks” and we made our way to our respective pens-I dropped back from 5 to 6 and Guilaine and I did our best to take in all the atmosphere, take on some final fluids and take off at a reasonable pace. 10.13am and we were over the start and onto the course. I started OK but perhaps a little faster than I wanted and by 5 miles I was a little concerned that I wouldn’t sustain it. My pace was a modest 10ish minutes per mile, give or take a bit either way. I tried to drop it back a bit but didn’t feel comfortable running even slower so decided to just go with what I was finding comfortable and keep monitoring it.

Guilaine and I had run near each other for about 3 miles but then her superior ability, technique, fitness, and my being about 2 to 3 stone overweight, started to tell as she disappeared towards the horizon. Not that I could see a horizon due to the throng of runners and spectators. I have to say that although I’d heard lots of things about how amazing the crowd is those things didn’t do the crowd justice. When you need a boost you get one and even sometimes, when you don’t know you need it, people seem to realise and a word of encouragement gives you a lift, helps you to roll your shoulders back and keep going. My observations from Sunday were that when I was running alongside the man dressed as a sunflower, everyone called out for the sunflower man and although there was still the odd “Come on John” he certainly took the crowds attention. When I was not running near someone in a costume I did come to realise that when I acknowledged a “Come on John” with a smile, a thumbs up or a “thanks”, I would then get even more encouragement from the next group of spectators, as they seemed to enjoy the interaction. This was also the result after high fiving any of the many kids lining the route with arms outstretched waiting to be high fived! So it is possible to “work the crowd” and the crowd was spectacularly supportive along the entire length of the course.

I saw familiar faces in Gary, Sandra and Andrew during the first half, stopping briefly for hugs and pleasantries but then off again. The Cutty Sark and Tower Bridge were massive highlights during the first half of The London Marathon. Half way in 2h14 m was, I feared a little faster than I wanted to be but another attempt to slow down felt wrong and I settled back into the same sort of pace. I’d only taken water, and then only about half a bottle each time, at every 3rd water station. When I went under the underpass to the Isle of Dogs there was a urinal without the queues that had been at all the other banks of loos so I thought I’d take the opportunity for a quick wee. I must have lost about 2 minutes here as I stood poised whilst producing not a drop! I decided I probably needed to take on more water so I sipped the whole bottle at each of the next 3 or 4 water stations. It seems that that worked. I supplemented my unplanned breakfast with the odd Jaffa Cake, Rich Tea, orange slice, banana and even a bit of a Mars Bar as they got proffered by our magnificent crowds. The second half was steady back to about Tower Hill and I was further boosted when I really needed it by seeing and hugging friends, Katia, Kath and Rich at about 17 and 19 miles.

Onto The Embankment and apparently I was seen by other friends but unfortunately I didn’t see them. By this stage I was struggling a bit and lots of people were walking so there was a fair bit of weaving round walkers. My goals, my only goals, had been to run all the way and to enjoy it. When it got a bit tougher I would say to myself “Do you know what you’re doing? You’re running The London Marathon!” This worked for me, I’d push my chest out, roll my shoulders back and look around me. And smile. There are so many amazing landmarks which can be used positively to distract you from what your brain is trying to tell you about your legs wanting to hand in a transfer request. By Blackfriars I was focussed only on reaching the BA crossing point just after Waterloo Bridge, no thought at that point of the finish. Small goals! The weaving was taking its toll by the time I reached Somerset House so it was good to see and share another hug with a mate I used to play football with many years ago. When I got to the crossing point I saw, waved at or hugged, Nikki, Ray Helen, Mel, Zoe and John. I was really buoyed after that and their encouragement and I also knew that the Parliament Square crossing wasn’t far-my next small goal. When I got there, hugs again from Jane and Steve and off I trotted towards Horseguards. That was a long stint along there, surprisingly so-to me at that stage at least. The slog between the 800m to go and 600m to go seemed to take about half an hour. Still the crowds were rooting for everyone and they made a huge difference along that stretch. Then the 385 Yards To Go sign-iconic and welcome and like a shot of adrenaline. Round the bend and there was the finish. The corporate tents here mean that the crowd noise is no longer deafening and a kind of surreal calm seemed to descend on me. I think I even slowed down a bit to try and drink it in. I picked my arch, far left, and made my way towards it like a gazelle released from captivity and bounding towards freedom. Well that was in my mind’s eye, the post marathon photos suggest that my mind’s eye may have been delusional from a lack of porridge! I had given my prediction of my time with the proviso that I wasn’t trying for a time. I’d gone for 4.45. I’m rather pleased with myself to have finished in 4h 45m 09s. who’d have thought!?

Over the finish line and presented with my medal I was then told by a marshal that I had done really well as “quite frankly, you’re not built like a runner”. I think he meant well :-).  I was about to take some photos/selfies when my phone rang and it was my youngest daughter. They’d been tracking me and seen that I was finished. That was a fantastic moment for me as neither of my girls are up to being able to stand around to cheer their old man around his mid-life crisis. Katie has hyper mobility and Eloise is suffering from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome right now. To be able to share that moment with them made a very special day even more special.

Selfies taken and baggage collected I headed off to meet friends. Didn’t manage to find Guilaine but I happily did meet Trish and two of her sisters. Another big thanks to Maureen who insisted I eat a bowl of seafood pasta. In truth, by the time she’d got halfway through the sentence “you need to eat something” there was very little left! It was too far for our tired legs to hike back to The Cenotaph to meet Neil so we headed to Embankment station and then to Hammersmith. A quick beer at the station before getting a train to Hatton Cross. First lovely surprise was on the platform where we bumped into Helen & Mel who had finished volunteering. Great fun chatting nineteen to the dozen on the train before the second lovely surprise at Hatton Cross of seeing Julie & Julia who had also been volunteering. Into the waiting car and driven home by my wife listening to two very excited girls in the back. The third, and emotionally best, surprise was outside the house with a homemade “Well Done Dad” sign hanging on the wall together with a couple of pairs of my trainers!

The curry we then went for was lovely and welcome although tiredness was rapidly setting in. So home we went and I was as content as I can ever remember being. Quite sore in places but very content.

I have to say the biggest thank you of all to BAAC. I get that my prospects of getting a place were assisted by my having volunteered last year and at a couple of other events but, in all fairness, the volunteering is great fun too. The BA crowd are so welcoming and fun to be around and whether I run or not, the marathon in particular is now firmly in my diary to attend every year, hopefully to marshal or (whisper it quietly) even to run it again. Maybe I’ll try and find the marshal I met at the end and see if he can put me forward for a “Good for Weight” place for next year? Also the Hyper Mobility Syndromes Association (HMSA) is very thankful to BAAC as my having a place in THE marathon has enabled me to raise almost £3k for this tiny charity that relies entirely on donations and fundraising.

This has gone on far longer than I intended it to but one last thing I want to say. My day had been pretty close to perfect so I didn’t think it could get any better. However, when I went to kiss each of my teenage daughters goodnight that evening they both, independent of the other, gave me a hug and said “goodnight Dad, I’m really proud of you”.

Thanks Steve, Simon, Neil and all at BAAC for helping to create my perfect day.

John “porridge is overrated” Lennon

Michelle Lepherd

Firstly, I would like to thank everyone.  BAAC for making my dream to run London a reality and all of you for the constant updates. I've loved sharing this real experience inside a virtual world!

What a day! I woke early, had the required porridge and bananas and set off on what I thought would be a horrendous trek to the start line. Leaving Chiswick,  I was straight on a bus to Hammersmith, onto the tube where my day really started as I got chatting to a number of runners,  a couple I stayed with until the start. The journey itself was straightforward and we even found seats on the train to Greenwich. Bag drop was quick and amenities great at the start and before I knew it we were off, crossing the start line around 10:20. I settled into a pace and was feeling great. At 3miles, the start zones all converged and this is where it became tricky as I was following the 4:15 pacer in my zone but had to pass the 5h, then 4:45, then 4:30 from the other 2 zones.  It wasn't until Tower Bridge before I got my pace back. Having said that, I was having the time of my life with a stupid grin on my face at the sheer fun of being there. The Cutty Sark was amazing and running over Tower Bridge was a highlight. I couldn't believe the crowds!  At times the sheer noise of cheering was immense. Feeling good throughout Canary Wharf I was looking forward to seeing the bridge again which would signal the last few miles. However, just around this time trouble struck in the form of stomach cramps and shakiness.  I'm not sure what it was, maybe having breakfast earlier than I would have normally, then gels and more water than normal but I wasn't feeling at all well. I walked it off a little and by 3 or so miles out was feeling better. Boy, when I was told that the crowd would lift me, they weren't wrong. I felt like a rockstar with everyone screaming my name!! Knowing my husband was marshalling at Birdcage Walk was a great motivation and as I approached the last mile I realised with great surprise,  I was on course for a PB! High fiving those I knew but not stopping, I raced for the finish line. Alas! 18 seconds over my PB! 4h28:46. This leaves me wondering what I could have done without the hiccups of the day. Now an autumn marathon is on my mind.

Finally, a great moment at the end of the day, when I walked into a restaurant for a restorative beverage, a number of tables broke into applause at the sight of my medal. Rockstar status solidified!

I'm so grateful to all who made this day happen for me. I had such a fantastic time and thanks to everyone for sharing your stories as well.

I'm off to Chamonix now to find a mountain to run up!

Michelle Lepherd

Trish McCabe

I would like to say a massive thank you to BAAC committee for my place and giving me opportunity of running my first marathon. Being part of the VMLM was an amazing experience which will stay with me forever. 

Having suffered a calf injury in the final stage of training, I was delighted to have made it to the start line. As I had no expectation of a finishing time I arrived at the start with an open mind. My main goal was to go out and enjoy the day knowing what a privilege it was to be granted a place. I also used this amazing opportunity to raise funds in aid of Prostate Cancer, a charity very close to my heart.

I took on board the advice given keeping my head up as much as possible whilst enjoying the unbelievable atmosphere. The support from the crowds was immense and camaraderie fantastic. 

I ran all the way which I am very happy with and I am glad my leg held out. I enjoyed every moment even the pain towards the end doesn't seem that bad now. 

The last 6 miles were tough but the crowds kept me going, when the going got tough I thought about all the lovely people who donated money and supported me and knowing I would be seeing our BA marshals in the final miles motivated me to keep running. 

My highlights included the uplifting noise from the crowds passing the Cutty Sark and again on Tower Bridge, seeing my family and friends several times en route, seeing our BA marshals at the different pedestrian crossings and the splendid view of Buckingham Palace and of course crossing the finish line and getting my medal. I finished in a time of 4:47.

I would like to wish all BA finishers huge congratulations, there were some amazing finishing times. Special thanks also to Simon Turton, Steve Hillier and the amazing team of volunteers and finally BAAC committee for making what was only ever a dream turn into reality for me. I have so far raised £1,418 with gift aid for my charity and I am very grateful to all the people who sponsored me.

Trish McCabe

Guilaine Sheward

The London Marathon 23rd April 2017

From spectator to participant - 1st marathon experience.

Arriving to the event by coach was a luxury.  No time or energy spent walking and figuring which tube stations would be closed etc. meant I arrived feeling fresh and ready to run. The weather was kind and friends to talk to while waiting before the event started was a bonus.

My breakfast at 5.30am was toast and honey and a cup of tea.  On the coach, I had fig rolls and one more biscuit and a banana at around 9.00am. I had sips of water to drink while waiting for 10.00am.

The planning of use of toilet is always a tricky one. I went once on arrival at 8.30am and most of the toilets were empty at this time. When I tried to use the toilets half an hour later, the queues were too long and the baggage drop had to be done within 20 minutes so I abandoned the plan, hoping there would be another chance elsewhere.  Unfortunately, the queues even to the urinals seemed endless and at a standstill so I decided to get into the pen and hoped there would be toilet blocks without queues elsewhere along the way, which was never the case and after the merge with the other starts at mile 3, I completely gave up on the idea of using the loos.

I was in good company with John Lennon for the first few miles, having started in pen 6 together.

The run to the 10k marker was quite slow but felt hard enough, reaching 10k in 1h01.  I enjoyed circling round the Cutty Sark iconic corner so characteristic of the London Marathon TV coverage and often shown from a bird’s eye view.

The half marathon mark was the next target, again thinking to myself that I had a long way still to go.  I saw some Bedfont Lakes parkrun supporters at mile 11 which gave me a good boost and the Tower Bridge crossing was great, my head pointing upwards to take it all in.  The crowds were cheering on continuously which was brilliant at times.  The banners were interesting too, some funny messages, other a different kind of funny! The live music at different was so good and kept me upbeat.

My pace was showing at 9:50mpm at this stage on an average pace but I wasn’t looking at it much.  I was more focused on keeping steady and concentrate on the breathing and the form.  To my surprise, although I was carrying my own water and electrolytes drink, I picked up a lot of water along the way and drank a fair bit, and washed my hands which were quite sticky from the gels.  I had gels at mile 5 and every 5 miles until mile 20.

I reached the half point in 2h12, feeling not too bad at this stage.  I carried on feeling OK until about mile 18.  It became more painful from that point.  One part of my calf was hurting where I never felt it before in training and my quads and knees and ankles were quite painful too.  My pace was over 10 minutes per mile then and a little slower towards the end of the loop at mile 22 with a nasty hill at the end of Blackfriars underpass which added more suffering to the agony.  The thought of seeing the BA marshalls at mile 25 kept me going but the breathing noises didn’t sound very happy at this point.

After spotting some BA marshalling friends at sector 6.2 , I really enjoyed the last mile,  and the surroundings looked more familiar. The distance signs helped me pick up the pace a bit at the end and the view of the finish line on the Mall was so welcoming.  I finished in 4:25.

Thank you very much for my British Airways RC place.  It was a fantastic 1st marathon experience.  The support from the BA volunteers has been wonderful and I am really grateful to everyone.  I was happy to help raise funds for Diabetes UK and I am thankful to the people who sponsored me.

Kind Regards

Guilaine Sheward

Ian Haylock

Hope you all had a great day.  The weather wasn’t quite in the script (got an inkling the day before as it started to get hot on Saturday around 12.30 pm, the time when we would have done a lot of mileage). Fast forward Sunday morning. Awoke 05:45  having had some sleep (not enough but that’s nerves like everyone else ).  Top tip was to get the early night in Friday from someone so I did that. Got in porridge and toast and some fluid (not too much as I was thinking about a stitch turning up). Started the race at 10 am and yes that stitch turned up in the first 200m, so eased the pace a bit and thankfully it went. Was planning on 7:45 pace and got to halfway in 1:42 and deployed the banana (you can imagine what it looked like but essential part of the tool kit with 400 mg of potassium – stops the wobble and a nice complement to the sugary gels). Got over Tower Bridge and the little quad niggle that appeared on taper week started playing up (it kept reasonably quiet in the background for the first half). Immediate action was to cut the pace to 8 minute miles as I knew the quad would blow. Can’t remember much after that, it was a question of trying to hold 8mm and keeping the 2 ½ minutes I’d banked in the tin for as long as I could. Then I lost concentration and the heat was playing up so I was managing down the pace I think to about 8:15/20 slowly giving back some of the minutes in the tin. By the time I saw you guys at Parliament square with 1k to go I think I had 5 min 30 to break 3:30 (tin was nearly empty).  I was falling apart so broke it into 200m stages and hung on to the 3:30 pacer who came past. Problem was I missed the 800m marker and thought it was the 600m marker – checked my watch and thought it would be tight now. Thankfully it was the 600m marker and had 3 mins or so to do 600m (thankfully not 3 mins to do 800m). Saw the 400m marker and 200m and just broke it into 200m stages. One thing I think that kept a strong finish was a couple of runs in training where I did a 10mile and a 13mile at race pace then did a sub 7 mm parkrun 5k after, it paid off. Just scraped under 3 30 so was happy with the time in the end. Great to tell yourself when it gets hard in any race that you done this in training (like if you come across a hill, say you done a bigger hill in training).

Many thanks Steve for giving me this opportunity to run the London Marathon. Well done everyone, the 26.2mile marathon is a beast of an event and think it takes years to work it out  - every time you run these type of distances you learn a lot regarding pacing, heat, nutrition, hydration.

All the best

Ian Haylock

Steve Taylor

I approached this year’s marathon off the back of a knee injury having missed last year's and trying to balance enough training with enough recovery time so I knew that I wouldn’t be as quick as last time and training was all about getting to the start line. On top of that I picked up a cold just four weeks before which meant that I missed a couple of weeks' training, just as I was hoping to get the last long run done.

My plan for marathon day was to run at a comfortable pace, soak up the atmosphere and just go for a finish. I had in mind that around 4:20 would be good time for me, going by my recent 5 mile handicap and 5k parkrun times. The weather forecast looked good and I got to the start in good time. I bumped in to a few other BA runners at the start, dropped of my kit bag and headed for the pen.

On the way round it was great to see all the bands and drummers and people cheering. I laughed at some of the funny signs, I liked this one. “you think you’re tired, try holding up this sign, my ******* arms are killing me.” It was a bit hot and sunny at times but when the clouds were overhead it was better. Some of the Lucozade sport drink stops were bottle carnage, you really had to be careful where you were running.

I was through the half in 2:05 and must admit to peeking at my watch every now and then to see how I was doing. Then it was just a case of chugging on and waiting to see if the wheels would fall off due to my lack of fitness. I did slow in pace in the second half but did manage to keep running all the way to the end and finished in 4:21. I’m really pleased with the time and the way that it went. Yes, the last miles were still really tough but I managed to survive.

I was missing my usual cheerleader at Bermondsey and Blackwall as my wife Marion twisted her ankle running the week before so it was great to get cheers and smiles from the BA marshals in the last few miles and you can’t beat the feeling that you get when you turn into The Mall and see the finish line.

Not sure about the design on the finishers' T shirt though, I’ll just have to get one again next year then.

Thanks to all of the BA Marshalls out on the course and thanks to the people who sponsored me, I raised about £1,000 pounds for the charity ‘Five Talents’

All the best

Steve Taylor



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