Monday, 19 April 2010

4 hours 57 minutes - Thank-you

After 4 hours and 57 minutes, and in a stunning 5,003rd place overall I crossed that line and felt, well, relief but not much else! A huge sense of achievement yes, lots of pain absolutely and a strong desire to get to the nearest taxi and on my way back to the train station.

Brighton was very hot yesterday and almost the entire course was in direct sunlight, so I'm a different colour to when I set out first thing Sunday morning. But I'm also a different person who'se made a journey from unfit drink-too-much sloth to someone that's actually quite fit and certainly much healthier.

The day didn't start out too auspiciously. Tannoy systems urged runners to abandon the toilet queues and use those on the route as it was imperative we all got away by 0900 sharp. So we did, coralled behind a fence, only to wait for a ten minute delay. Cue lots more stretching by people who would otherwise get cramp, but this time crammed together like sardines.

But the rest of the route was extremely well laid out, well marshalled and clear. Huge credit to the organisers for everything they did on the day, most of whom were volunteers. Especial thanks to the St John's Ambulance who endured the ignomony of standing by the roadside with dollops of vaseline on their fingers for chafed up runners to wipe off as they went past!

Did I say Brighton was hot? It was absolutely baking and there was basically no shade at any point in the entire course. So all the training with fluid intake, throughout all those winter months from January, was made instantly irrelevant. I drank way more than normal but didn't feel the call of nature until I was all the way home in Shepherd's Bush hours later, so I must have been sweating it out. In fact I had so many salt deposits encrusted on my skin and clothes I looked like I'd been heavily sprinkled with the stuff.

Sadly I saw two runners who didn't make it, both of whom collapsed from dehydration. One of them was in a serious way and being loaded into an ambulance with a saline drip being held aloft by the vaseline dispensing st Johns Ambulanciers. I hope they were OK.

Even in the last four or five miles, where it was tough beyond belief, I kept noticing other people who were running for cancer charities of various kinds. I was running for Cancer Research UK. Many of them had "in memory of" cards on their vests. It made me think of the two people I lost this year very much. Natasha, Ray and others in recent times - Sharon, Heather. And all of a sudden it wasn't so bad to be running in the sun, next to the clear blue sea with aching feet.

But my abiding memory is of a girl of about 19 or 20 who was stood at about mile 12 with a simple cardboard sign saying "I'm a survivor". And so she was, and so should more people be, and that's why all of you who sponsored me should be as proud as I am today. Thank-you.


  1. Chris - well done!

    Fancy doing the London next week? ;-)

    Are you going to keep up the running?

  2. Very well don indeed - first marathon in this weather ... very well done indeed.

  3. I can't imagine what it was like running in that heat. Striking image of the girl with the cardboard sign. Really well done for making it the whole way.

  4. An excellant time especially given the heat and sun, well done Chris!
    I still have Elen, LBHF librarian who is doing the London in memory of my late wife Julie (also for CRUK) and niece Danni doing the Great North Run for breast Cancer Care and son Patrick, doing the Edinburgh marathon, this time for fun! Good luck to all
    Iain Muir

  5. Many thanks all, much appreciated