Yesterday thousands of people descended on the streets on England’s capital for the annual Virgin Money London Marathon and for the first time ever I went along to spectate and support all of the amazing runners.
I can’t believe I’d never been to watch before and I’m already looking forward to going back next year! It was an absolutely incredible atmosphere and it was one of the most inspiring days ever. In the past I’ve doubted myself and my ability to run but seeing yesterday I witnessed the biggest variety of people running, from pensioners to those with disabilities who are succeeding against the odds, and it really inspired me to keep going.
I spent the day volunteering for an amazing charity called MS-UK who are based in my hometown, Colchester. They are dedicated to supporting anyone affected by multiple sclerosis – which my mum was sadly diagnosed with 20 years ago. I felt honoured to be able to support all of their runners who raised a lot of money!
|Look how beautiful the weather was!|
We arrived quite early on in the day and pitched up on the Embankment, just before the 25 mile point. Shortly after we arrived the Mini London Marathon and wheelchair races started which was another inspiring part of the day.
Mo Farah was who everyone was waiting for and when he ran past the crowds went wild! Mo is one of my biggest inspirations and it was so great to see him running his first marathon.
Then the fun began when the masses started to pass us. I loved seeing all of the amazing people taking on the challenge – most of who were raising money for a cause that was important to them. Even more amazing was those running in costumes – as if running a marathon wasn’t difficult enough already! There were a lot of rhinos, superheroes, a man with a fridge on his back(!!), firemen, morphsuits and onesies – just to name a few of the amazing costumes I saw.
An amazing woman called Melissa Fehr passed us quite early on in the race. She finished with an amazing time of 3:30 and left with a personal best, Good For Age entry into next years race and a Boston Qualifier! Melissa contacted me a few weeks ago after I was chosen as letter of the month in the May 2014 edition of Runner’s World. Like me, she received a bone marrow transplant five years ago for a condition similar to what I had. I gave her a huge cheer as she passed through the MS-UK cheering point and it was great to see her with a beaming smile on her face! Melissa was raising money for Anthony Nolan – please check out her Virgin Money Giving page to find out more about her.
I was also incredibly proud to see my friends mum Amanda who was struggling with a knee injury but continued to finish the race. She was raising money for Children with Cancer UK which is also a charity very close to my heart.
We stayed right until the end to cheer on as many runners as we could to help them through their final mile of the marathon. I was even throwing out compliments like ‘how can anyone run a marathon and look as good as you do right now – keep going!’. Every single person that got to the finish line is an absolute hero in my books – regardless of the time they got there in.
Bring on 2016 when I’ll be old enough to enter the marathon!