Supporter story

Runners recount their marathon experience

We asked our amazing London Marathon runners to tell us about their experience of the day and what it meant to them to cross that finish line!

Fiona said:

Its funny because I thought the story of my marathon race would be full of sadness and thoughts of my mum and dad. But it wasn’t that at all. I actually felt like a rock star. I felt part of something enormous and overwhelmingly positive.

You hear about the wonderful crowds but until you are running across Tower Bridge or around Cutty Sark with hundreds of people cheering, shaking cow bells, whistles, banners you have no idea how brilliant you are going to feel.

And because you have your name on your t-shirt, people shout your name; “Come on Fiona”, You’ve got this Fiona,” “You’re amazing Fiona.” And they look you in the eye when they say it, willing you on. I am getting emotional as I type this. So instead of being about the loss my my beloved parents it was a celebration of life and of ME! How often does that happen!!

Of course, I was on track to make this time I had set myself until I hit mile 19 and then my legs suddenly seized up. I became one of those people you see in agony at the side of the road. I went into a St Johns tent by the road and they massaged my legs. I had to do that twice because the cramp just kept coming.

At mile 21 I was in real danger of not finishing. I then got angry because there was no way I was not finishing this. So I decided to keep running. I used visualisation techniques from my meditation practice, imaging my leg muscles as smooth and soft. I was actually making smoothing actions with my hands and shouting ’smooth’. I must have looked weird but I didn’t care.

So the last 6 miles were a blur of concentration but I got across that line in 4.48 hours. To know that so much money is being raised and that I contributed to St Wilfrids wonderful work is such a privilege.

Whatever you do, however you do it, just do it. Its a triumph to yourself and to being alive!

I am already looking at which marathon I will do next!

Becky and Karen took this challenge on together

Becky said:

Unfortunately I had severe cramping at mile 12, I had to walk/run the remaining 14 miles which I was really disappointed with but at least I got over the finish line!

A high point was definitely Tower Bridge, the crowds were amazing, and also seeing the last bend at Buckingham Palace!

To anyone thinking about running a marathon, do it! Whilst pounding the streets of London last week I told Karen to never let me sign up for another one. I entered the ballot the next day for 2023! One of the best days of my life!

Karen said:

I enjoyed every single minute of it. The crowd were amazing and I smiled the whole way round.  Apparently we ran past a lot of famous landmarks, most of them I don’t remember!! 

If you’re thinking about running a marathon then do it, you will get pushed along by the crowd and the whole atmosphere. Do follow a training programme and try and run with other people as well, it makes it much easier. Regular updates from St Wilfrids was fab and opportunities to get to meet other people running the marathon 

Jason said:

My highs were the almost constant and sheer volume of support from everyone who turned out to watch it was truly amazing…lows were the last few miles when I was beginning to pay for going out too fast.

For those thinking of running a marathon, just simply do it as the sense of emotion that you get when you reach the finish line is overwhelming, plus you will get to meet some amazing people on the way both in training and during the event. 

Chris said:

High point- The atmosphere was Amazing!! Low point – knee injury throughout training and only holding out for 14 miles. Hobbled home!

If you’re thinking of taking on a marathon, don’t think about the running but the cause you are doing it for. The atmosphere will carry and inspire you.

Kerry said:

This was not my first London Marathon but it was unlike anything I’ve ever experience before.

From the start to the finish the crowd were absolutely incredible. Genuinely wanting you to finish and succeed.

I really enjoyed the race up until Mile 20 and then I was ready to go home! The last 6 miles were tough and I certainly had to dig very deep.

Remembering my WHY then was the thing that kept me going.

The people who I was running for and the people who had supported me and given valuable sponsorship money. It’s a lifetime memory and an experience I would absolutely recommend!

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