Helen reports of London Marathon success:
My first experience of the London Marathon was in 2010 when I was first time lucky in the ballot, however, this year I was awarded a Good for Age place.
My training had been going well with a half marathon PB shortly before although a 20mile training race was cancelled due to snow. However, I was feeling well prepared, well rested and confident of making the 3hr 50 cut-off to keep my Good for Age place.
This year I started from the Green Start which was less congested than the Blue Start I experienced 3 years ago. I set my Garmin for 3.42 (my PB) and set off. The pace felt quite comfortable although I was a bit surprised when we joined with the Blue Start after ½ mile or so that I was running alongside the 3.15hr pacer! After a few miles, he disappeared into the distance and I was approached by the 3.30hr pacer. I kept him in sight and felt settled into my pace after having a few miles to warm up.
I looked out for Peter around Rotherhithe to keep myself occupied but didn’t see him, although I did have a few shouts of ‘Go Vegan!’ The 3.30hr pacer had sped off at this time, although I did seem to catch him again at Tower Bridge. By half way I was feeling pretty good and a little ahead of my PB. Mentally I wasn’t looking forward to the section through Canary Wharf as it seems a long way after half way going away from Tower Bridge before you finally make your way back towards the finish at mile 21. It didn’t go too badly and I managed to keep a steady pace, gaining a little now and then. I had a few medjool dates in my pocket so I had one every couple of miles or so after Tower Bridge (I also had a datorade – dates blended with a bit of water before the race) which gave me an energy boost.
Mile 18-20 where probably the toughest for me, not particularly physically, they just seemed to take forever to pass by. Once I made it to mile 20 I was mentally on the home straight. I felt the pace around me had slowed down by now and found it tough to keep up with my ideal pace which I felt comfortable with but felt I was being dragged backwards by the people around me.
The miles on the home straight slowly passed but I was being spurred on by more shouts of ‘Go Vegan’. Big Ben eventually came into sight then I rounded the corner onto the straight towards Buckingham Palace. Once I passed the 800m mark, this was the most difficult part of the race!! Those last few hundred meters took forever and I felt the finish would never come! I thought I finished around 3.38 so was really pleased to get the official time of 3.36.45 a PB of around 6 mins.
For me it was a beautiful day, perfect conditions and I felt well prepared so I was lucky it all came together on the day. It was great to meet with Peter and everyone else after the race, luckily the sun kept shining for us.
Cédric also had a great race and got a PB of 3.13.51 so another set of PBs for TEAM DAVID!!