5k PB 36:22
10k PB 1:15:37
HM PB 2:56:07
Marathon PB ????
Saturday 10th December 2016, Evesham Vale Running Club Christmas Party. Each year the club gets allocated places for the London Marathon to give out to members. The fairest way to do this is to hold our very own ballot for those members who entered the official VMLM ballot but did not get that magical magazine/email! As the food and awards came to an end the final announcement of the evening was who had won the 2 places we were allocated this year. Last year’s winner picked the first name out and as expected the room erupted into cheers and clapping as the winner sat there, not understanding what had happened to begin with then, as the news filtered through, the look of shock and surprise crept across her face!
Then there was a second place to draw. The winner of the first place was asked to choose her partner. Her hand went in to the bowl of names and all of a sudden, she was asking if I wanted to join her!!! Me…. plodder extraordinaire, slowest and biggest member of the club! Once again there were cheers and clapping (and screaming – mainly coming from me!). The rest of the evening was full of wide eyed conversations with fantastically supportive people, offering training advice and help (after a couple of them stopped laughing that was).
I guess you are asking why I was so shocked when I obviously wanted to run it as I had entered the official ballot but the truth is, I never expected to get in!
In April 2016 I ran my first half marathon (Stratford Upon Avon, time 3:03:39), my furthest distance to date. It was run on the same day as the VMLM so when I got home I spent the rest of the day watching the coverage of one of the most awe-inspiring events of the year. In the following weeks, my Facebook timeline and twitter feed were full of amazing marathon stories, friends from the running club that had run it came to show off their hard-earned medals and tell their own marathon story. Then the excitement of the ballot opening began, it seemed that everyone I spoke to was talking about it and how they had entered it 3, 4, 5 years in a row but were unsuccessful each time.
The London Marathon has a very special place in my heart. My Dad and his Uncle ran it several times when I was a child, raising fantastic amounts for different charities each time. My Dad’s Uncle even met Princess Diana as a result of the fundraising he did. I have such wonderful memories of standing at various spots on the course trying to pick my Dad out of the sea of people, images of him wrapped in foil blankets emblazoned with Mars logos, spotting celebrity runners and many more. Spurred on by completing my first HM and with the rush of my new-found addiction running through my veins I entered the ballot because…. well….no one ever gets in on their first attempt do they!
As soon as I pressed the submit button on the online entry form I prepared myself for the fact I wouldn’t get in. I told just 1 person that I had entered. As the result date drew closer I let the ‘but what if’s…?’ creep in and imagined how I would announce the news to friends and family. However, as suspected, it was not to be. That was it I thought. Then the club announced the number of places we were given and explained that all those who had entered the ballot could have their name go into the draw for it. ‘why not’ I thought….and the rest, as they say, is history.
In this blog, I am hoping to chart my progress through training. The highs, the lows, the smiles and the tears. I hope that you will join me on the journey (not physically, although training buddies are always welcome!) and that you find what I have to say interesting and who knows, maybe inspiring?