Thousands of runners are set to take part in the London Marathon this year. Local blogger Murphy Runs shares her experience of running her first London Marathon in 2018, and why it’s more about support than fitness…
Marathon – a word that is either on your bucket list, or firmly on your ‘couldn’t think of anything worse’ list.
For me, the London Marathon was on my bucket list and in 2018 I was fortunate enough to experience its glory firsthand. This year’s London Marathon – the largest fundraising event in the world – will now take place on October 4th and some 40,000 runners will pound the pavements of London.
Thousands more will cheer from the sideline. When I stood on its startline in 2018, I felt incredibly nervous. Am I fit enough? Will I come last?
Then I looked left and saw a man in a Rhino costume. My fears eased a little. As we started to run, I lost the Rhino and started to take it all in. The atmosphere was insane.
Roaring crowds filled the roads and words of encouragement filled the air. I was seriously struggling by the halfway point when a kind stranger offered me a pink doughnut.
The ‘don’t take sweets from strangers’ rule does not apply when you’re running a marathon. There I was – running the world’s largest marathon eating a doughnut.
Understandably I got indigestion and stopped to walk when a lady gave me a pat on the back and told me to keep going, so I did.
I noticed her charity top said, ‘in memory of my loving son’. This kindness gave me such a boost and so I returned the favour to other runners who were on the breaking point, but so determined to get to that finish line that we’d all spent 16 weeks training to see.
So whilst running the 26.2 mile distance was physically tough, I realised that marathon running is way more than just a fitness test. Each runner, like the lady running for their late son, has a purpose to be there.
A marathon is just thousands of people all there to support each other’s personal journey.
Five hours later I could see the end and felt ecstatic – until the Rhino turned up and passed me just before the finish line. Ouch.
Follow Anastasia’s running adventures on Instagram @MurphyRuns