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Pride is forever – Part 2 of my VLM story

April 25, 2011

My aim was to get round by following a run/walk plan alongside Steve Watkins and Michelle Long. This was ideal for me as Steve probably had the worst build up you could have for your first marathon and Michelle had run the marathon twice and her positive and bubbly nature would always help. I was also expecting Steve to get plenty of support from the crowd, being a top BBC radio personality so hopefully that support would rub off onto me. Steve had already described the run in fantastic detail with his entertaining, informative and possible award winning blog (VLM #3 and #4) therefore I will aim to describe my personal experiences of the race instead.

After finally crossing the start line we made our way to Woolwich and back round to Greenwich. Our team of 3 had increased to 4 during this time with the welcome addition of Karina Ridgewell who had unfortunately picked up a knee injury at mile 2. The remainder of the South London part of the marathon up to Tower Bridge involved running past fantastic support ranging from ghouls from a haunted house themed pub, various MC’s playing tunes from balconies and refuse workers encouraging us to run slower as they were on double time. For some strange reason crowds appeared to chant ‘Nick’ more often then my fellow runners. Maybe it was down to sympathy because of my knee brace or because they liked to say ‘Nick’ ‘Nick’. When we saw any support from fellow Spartans such as Ange, Sharon, Jayne, Nicky and Karen at mile 8 along with Kay and Steve at 9 we made sure we took time out to chat with them and it was a great fillip. Their support was certainly appreciated.

Half way round and feeling good

Half way round and feeling good

Crossing Tower Bridge was just simply incredible. An amazing feeling and something never to be forgotten. From there we made our way to Docklands. At mile 15 I met my wife and daughters as well as my parents. I was just so pleased to see them and to be honest it was quite emotional. From there we continued to make our way through Docklands when suddenly I was hit by a strange sensation. I started to feel light headed, my legs felt heavy and my fellow runners were moving ahead of me. When I was passed by a man carrying a washing machine on his back I then knew I must have hit the dreaded wall.



Thanks to support from Steve, Michelle, Karina and Jason Scales (who had caught us up around Canary Wharf) along with Sharon’s jelly babies (we had again met the glamorous supporters from mile 8), water from a St Johns Ambulance assistant, max strength ibuprofen from a fellow runner and a trip to a portaloo I managed to get over the wall and made my way on to the embankment. We manage to make our way now as a team of 5 on to the finish in the Mall and crossed the finish line together in a time of 6 hours 5… actually forget the time, WE MADE IT ROUND!!! We received our medals and goody bags, received hugs from members of the Spartan baggage team and posed for photographs. I then made my way to Horse Guards to meet my family and I put on my latest gadget, the horse bandage. We made our way home and after a well deserved chicken kebab and half a pint of bitter, I fell asleep with pride at my achievement at completing my first marathon.

At the finish. Note that Steve is on the phone to his agent complaining about having less support then me

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