The first 13 miles
The first 13 miles was great, good pace easily staying with the 4:30 pacemaker, relaxed and happy, energised by seeing my family and friends at this marker. Hey, this is easy I thought – boy was I wrong! Then tiredness started after 21 miles rather than sipping water. I was downing whole bottles every mile – something was not right. I was not hydrating properly; I urgently needed salt intake but could not drink Lucozade, which made me feel ill as I was not training with this drink. I was also getting severe stomach cramps that would not go away, but I knew if I stopped I would not be able to start again and remembered the ill children for the charity I was running, knowing my pain paled into insignificance against their suffering, and this spurred me on.
I pressed on and at 25 miles I was in agony with cramp and exhaustion; just when I needed it most I saw my family and friends and staggered towards them with high fives. So close yet so far! The last mile was the worst, the crowd was amazing but physically I was gone. Running on pure determination, in a daze and ignoring the pain. I saw the last 1km marker and gritted my teeth telling myself it is not far now but the short distance felt like ages.