I did it!

medal photo

At the finish, tired but so happy

London Marathon? Done :) My official time was 4:31:35, and I couldn’t be happier. Everything went smoothly, and I am feeling very pleased with myself. There’s no damage done, my knees were a bit sore last night but today everything feels good.

The Marathon is an amazing high. I had my name on my vest and it really felt on the day like the whole of London was chanting my name. The spectators are incredible and the vibe from the crowds just lifts you so much. The other runners are all in great spirits and there’s tonnes of banter en route. It really was a tremendously emotional day.

Once I get them, I will upload the official pics. My friends came out to watch me run and they took some incredible photos, which I look forward to sharing with you too.

I will do this again. Next time, the target will be under 4 hours. I may even do a fall marathon this year.

You can see my race stats here on garmin connect. As you can see from the split times apart from pee stops and chatting with my supporters I pretty much nailed my pace (10 min/mile).

In terms of the blow by blow I will say this: the first 15 miles went in a flash, the crowd and the runners were all in high spirits and the miles just whizzed by. I literally ran the first 15 miles with a gigantic, idiotic grin on my face.

Mile 6 was the Cutty Sark, the first thing I looked forward to. Next milestone was around mile 10 when we crossed Tower Bridge. That was truly amazing because the ROAR of the crowd was just deafening and the crowd chanted my name all the way across :)

The next milestone was mile 14 where my awesome friends were waiting with cheers of encouragement, supplies, cameras to take pictures and (omg awesome) a cold, wet towel to wipe my face with. Mile 14 was Narrow street and my absolute favourite part of the marathon. Another area where the crowd just roared, and there were so many people watching, dancing, chanting, waving, or offering goodies (brownies, bananas, oranges, sweets,  you name it!)

Next milestone was Canary Wharf, at 19/20 miles which was packed and really great too. Awesome crowds, and the drums! Amazing drums which really lifted spirits in a tricky bit of the race (everything starts to hurt from mile 18).

Then, mile 21 is back through Limehouse on Commercial road and I saw my friends again for a quick chat and another cold towel-down. At this point I was told about our dinner reservation at Gaucho Grill that night which basically carried me the rest of the way to the finish :) I was so happy to see my friends at this point that I probably looked like I’d already won the race :) Limehouse was so great – even down by the station the crowds were thick and chanting and yelling. Everybody was shouting my name and I was getting really emotional.

From mile 21, things got really tough. Everything hurt and the last 5 miles felt very, very far. Thames street was miserable for me. A real head down, gritted teeth mile… Luckily the crowds along Embankment and the Mall really lift you and suddenly you are nearly finished and picking up speed again. I managed not to stop running all race but around mile 20 a lot of runners start walking – this actually gave me a boost as I started to pass a lot of people, happy to have paced myself well.

At the finish, the feeling is indescribable. So tired, but so happy, relieved, proud, emotional… You get your medal and a goodie bag. I devoured every source of food in that goodie bag in about 3 minutes flat. Then my friends came and met me with champagne and more goodies and we hung out in whitehall drinking from the bottle :)

Back home, Colm showed off his brilliant pictures of the day to music while we drank Bolly 2000 – which was just awesome :) Then off to dinner at Gaucho where I devoured a 400g Fillet and whatever sides were in sight ! What an amazing, amazing day :)

I was thinking earlier today, that if someone told me a year ago I would run the marathon in 4 and a half hours this year (or at all), I would have laughed right in their face. Just goes to show you…

You can do anything, if you set your mind to it.

Isn’t that just awesome to know?


Possibly related posts (auto generated):

  1. The Virgin London Marathon
  2. Marathon update: more photos online!
  3. Race result
  4. You’ve come a long way, baby
  5. Fitness update – 3 month gym weigh-in

3 comments to I did it!

  • Adam

    Great job, Tom. Congrats!

  • Luis Vega

    Congrats! But why didn’t you run in your Vibram Five Fingers?

  • Maybe next time with the Five Fingers :) The furthest I’ve run in those is about 8 miles and during a 10k race last year I pulled a tendon in them trying to go too fast. That meant I was off from training for Dec, Jan and most of Feb. I Just didn’t want to take the chance on the Marathon as for the first time you just want to make sure you complete it!