What an incredible weekend leaving the Mediterranean North East to the cold South on Friday morning was something unexpected.
It rained on Friday night and Saturday was not much better after another stroll around the expo and listening to people buying new running shoes for marathon, it was off to see Charlton v Brighton.
I thought I was in for a relatively carefree afternoon and after 2 pitch invasions of inflatable football and balloons we did finally see a game of football!
No real butterflies and up at 6.15, so as not to wake up Jeanette, I ate 2 tubs of porridge on the toilet. Afterwards she said she was awake with all the banging around.
I left the hotel at 7 and it was cold and raining so I thought this is not going to be good. As we got off the train at Blackheath, the sky had brightened up and before the start the sun came out. It was still cold but ideal running conditions.
10.00am and we were off just over 2 minutes to get over the start line and then I settled into a steady pace. In fairness, I could only go at the speed of those in front. Cutty Sark was 6 miles in and the family said that they would be cheering me on but the crowd was so deep I didn’t see them.
Keep hydrated they said - but the water has to go somewhere, so I had to have 2 toilet breaks which I have never done on my training runs.
Half way you see the runners coming back to the finish on the other side they were about 7 miles, yes 7 miles, in front and running effortlessly.
Off round the Isle of Dogs and I had to keep reminding myself about all the long slogs I have done as the scenery is not the best but the crowd was something else. I thought derby games at the stadium of light were noisy but this was something else all the way round.
Then it was back to Tower Bridge and the final push. Legs were just starting to get a bit tired, so again I had to start thinking positively. I missed the sights and in the distance I could see Big Ben and the final mile.
I saw lots of people with injuries but I was determined that I was not going to walk although my pace dropped to over 10 minutes for the final mile. Nothing left for that final push I am afraid and then it was over the finish line to find this was the largest London Marathon with a course record just also outside a world record. Wow.
So for those of you not following me on the London App, I finished it would appear in the top third which I am pleased about. I have refused to tell most people my target time but guess what, I did it 3.56.13 I am told. Just outside a qualifying time for next year but never mind.
As I have been saying running is for fun and as many of you know I am a passionate runner. Will I do another marathon? Who knows.
I am afraid I cannot thank everyone who has sent me messages and for their kind donations to the charity I have dedicated this run to. I said to myself when it was starting to hurt how many other people less fortunate to me would love to swap places. You still have time to make a donation on my just giving page - https://www.justgiving.com/Graham-Laverick1.
Now it’s back to the real business and you will not be getting anymore running blogs.
I hope many of you have found them interesting and who knows, it may have inspired someone to take up running and perhaps even do a Marathon.