So here I am with my London marathon 2011 finisher medal which now forms part of my collection…
It is tough to attempt to put into words what it is like each year. It continues to be a highly motivating, inspiring and amazing experience.
This year, everything went right. My brother and I got on the train and got a seat, were able to use the toilet facilities early (i.e. before they got used by thousands of runners early morning ablutions!), then we got on the connecting trains to our starts easily.
I arrived at Blackheath to be confronted by huge stands with London marathon paraphernalia all over the place, big screens with motivating music and thousands of fellow runners going through their preparations. There were huge hot air balloons all around and people all encouraging each other, laughing, sharing and enjoying.
Through experience I have learned that there is little value in standing up and jumping around nervously as so many do. I sat, relaxed, breathed and soaked up the atmosphere. I ate my bananas, sipped my energy drink, rubbed vaseline on the parts that would need it and enjoyed the anticipation.
Having checked my kit bag in (which then gets carted off to the finish), visited the urinals (you don’t need to know this, agreed, but it is such an important part of marathon preparation) and then headed to the start pen where I was assigned.
My brother was at a different start point to me and our routes did not converge until just after mile three, but we met up using cheap mobile phones bought especially and we ran together from there onwards. Here we are waving and roaring at the cameras running across the spectacular London Tower bridge:
Throughout the race, we ran past a man aiming to break the world record and be the fastest to run the marathon with a 40 pound pack, he was amazing to watch. We ran alongside the man who was aiming to run the entire marathon backwards with the aid of a friend guiding him, although it was a bit dangerous being around him, he was getting a lot of love from the supporters. We ran past many celebrities and the crowds… Oh the crowds… As well as friends and family and people we knew, we ran past crowds cheering along the entire distance of the course, it was nothing short of amazing… What a noise they made.
It was an incredibly hot day, I made the most of the showers on the course provided to run through if you wished and at one or two times, how I yearned to join some of the revellers in the pubs on the route having fun and drinking cold beer whilst cheering us on! You can be sure I had one in the pub afterwards…
Here I am running alongside someone obviously called Katy… Not my wife Katie, she was at embankment with my sister-in-law and friends cheering us on when we went past, but I thought I’d share anyway.
Before, during and after this event, the runners connect, appreciate each other, support each other and share a great deal together. I love that. At times when the media fills our perception with dispiriting news, problems and tragedy, this kind of event absolutely uplifts, revives the spirit and instills faith in your fellows. These people are raising money for causes, they have trained through all weathers, they have been disciplined, they have cared, they have been motivated and driven.
Here I am getting close to the finish line. You’ll note the familiar posture every time I saw a camera anywhere!
Finally, I did want to add my heartiest thanks to everyone who sent me emails and commented at Facebook, Twitter and all kinds of other places offering up support, love and encouragement. I have been really taken aback by it all. Thank you 🙂
Sooo… Next year, I am going to run it all again. I want to run it with some of you. If anyone out there wants to run London marathon in 2012, and want a small team to work with them to achieve it, then get in touch with me.
Here is the deal. Before the start of the new year, we’ll get your training schedule worked out together, then once a month we’ll get your head in the right place and work on keeping you motivated, driven and thinking the right thoughts with a session together.
You’ll need to get yourself a place, you can enter by ballot, or you can get a charity place – many of which have started advertising their Golden Bond places again. You’ll need to have run at least 20 miles a week for 6 consecutive weeks before Christmas, so you’ll want to think about getting some miles under your belt in the coming months.
Then we’ll have a couple of long runs together if you can. We’ll meet up at the event to give each other the boost and support and share in the amazing event.
If you fancy it, get in touch with me and we’ll work it out between us.
Ok, that is my marathon report over for another year… I have to start my training schedule for my marathon in September now! I hope that you enjoy the Easter break, I’ll be back after that and will be getting focused on some serious hypnosis and hypnotherapy related topics again.