‘What a weekend’
The alarm goes off at 5.30am on Friday morning, it can only mean one thing, the months and months of hard work were about to come fruition, with my first marathon, writes Gareth Rowett.
It has always been a dream, since I started running properly anyway, to run a marathon and in particular the London one, the perfect way to kick-off my marathon career, however long or short it will be.
Last year our family sadly lost my auntie Susan and I decided that it would be good to run the marathon in her memory and for Cornwall Hospice Care.
I have been very thankful to everyone that has supported me in my training and luckily I have managed to raise over £6,000 for such a worthy cause.
Now, back to the action.
A quick cuppa, and a bit of brekky and I was strolling over the road with my bag, full of books I would add, to the train station to meet Mr and Mrs Bazeley and Goff’s ‘second wife’ Becky James.
It was great to see them and Becky even insisted on a quick selfie before we left the station in St Austell.
The journey was, how could you say? Eventful. Full of laughs and it certainly helped me relax, particularly when we prepared for a game of travel scrabble only to realise that it was actually magnetic scrabble, anyone got a fridge?!
With plenty of banter flying around the journey to London flew by and before we knew it myself and Goff were off to the Expo to pick up mine, Leanne and Jane’s race numbers for the big day.
We even managed to bump into marathon extraordinaire or J-Dog as I like to call him, Jamie Masters and Martin ‘Fluff’ Rickard from Padstow, who was also running for Cornwall Hospice Care.
After a quick shot of London Pride, it was free after all, Shawn and Viv arrived and we left for a spot on lunch whilst the rest of the gang stopped for a bit of liquid refreshment in the Nag’s Head, no sign of Del Boy till Sunday though!
A lovely Turkish meal was had on Friday evening and then it was time for my head to hit the pillow.
Saturday was all about packing my bag for Sunday and in the afternoon I headed over to Richmond where I met my parents and close friends, Andy and Jasmine and their little boy Charlie, who seemed determined to run my ragged the day before the Marathon.
The #TeamCHC girls arrived on Saturday night and we headed off for an Italian, the perfect chance to carb load before attempting to sleep the night before the Marathon.
Sunday, 6.30am, I was up and with Meatloaf and the Sugarhill Gang blasting out whilst I showered for the big day.
We then caught the tube to the start, thanking a very helpful runner from London who was ready for his first marathon.
Our train from Paddington was slightly delayed and then the nerves, and the need for a toilet, really kicked in.
After finally arriving, it was for the moment that will live long in the memory of Jane and Leanne and has seen me labelled ‘the best p****r’.
I let the girls know that I had to stop for a ‘quick’ toilet stop and after what they said seemed like 10 minutes we made our way for the start line with just enough time to drop our bags off and get to our starting pens before the final countdown.
It then took five minutes for me to cross the starting line and then it all became a reality.
I knew that I set off at a decent pace, but didn’t realise till after, just HOW quickly.
The excitement and the cheering crowds really spurred me on and when we joined with the blue start I recorded my fastest miles of the day.
After seeing the STARC gang at mile six (I think) and my parents the first half of the race flew by.
The first landmark I remember seeing was Tower Bridge and that was only because I was on the damn thing!
Throughout the race I managed to run the whole way round, which was a target for me, and having consumed an awful lot of water and plenty of Lucozade I was forced for a couple, well four, toilet stops.
The race never dragged one little bit, I had a couple slower miles around 22/23 but knowing I had to pull something out of the bag I stormed to the finish line, with a sprint finish in the last mile, although the last 800m seemed to last for around 10 miles, not just a couple laps of Par track.
Then the relief was over when I crossed over the line.
The emotion hit me, my auntie would be looking down with a little, smile and all the people that have helped and supported me, helping me to a four-hour marathon!
It was great to see so many happy faces under the ’S’ tree and after a lovely bottle of Estrella it was off to the Red Lion for a couple more pints.
A lot of beer was consumed and after hardly sleeping on Sunday night there was a quick trip to Buckingham Palace on Monday before getting the train back to ‘sunny’ St Austell, but what a weekend!
…when’s the next one?
Here are the times of some of our fantastic runners, well done to all of them.
Gareth Rowett (4.00.42), Leanne Smith (4.04.31), Jane Appleton (4.23.39) Hannah Adams (5.49.42), Gemma Pateman (4.24.09), Paul Maskell (2.40.01), Jez Mancer (3.03.27), Jessica Buscombe (3.15.41), Emma Murray (3.17.54), Tim Adams (2.56.54), Mike Greer (4.00.29), Andrew Lucas (5.11.20), Chris Marriott (4.10.55), Jacqui Martin (4.54.38), Jamie Masters (3.02.58), Dan Nicholls (3.39.01), Matt Phillips (5.09.33), David Ralls (5.42.50), Stuart Richards (3.43.23) and Claire Todd (3.40.10).