Race Report by Jenna Pogue
It feels odd writing a ‘race report’ for London Marathon as it didn’t really feel like a race, it was ‘bigger’ than that!
Training went well and with 3 weeks to go I felt calm & confident. With 3 days to go, I turned into a bag of nerves – afraid that I’d collapse, have a hard time mentally or be so overwhelmed that I couldn’t start.
I tried to enjoy the expo. It was a good event but I couldn’t concentrate – I just needed it to be Sunday morning! When it finally arrived, my nervousness eased, I ate my pancakes and headed to Greenwich Park. Red start was calm despite the number of runners – you could hear a pin drop! Nervous energy?
10am came quickly. I shuffled through the pens, chatting to others – most needed someone else to tell them how nervous they felt too! I think I helped a few and they definitely helped me!
10:32 – I’m running the London Marathon! I loved it immediately! Miles 1, 2 & 3 passed quickly (quicker than any Parkrun, even though I was running slower!) I did wonder if the red & white mile markers would eventually become tedious but they never did. Each mile seemed to arrive when expected! Kelvin & I ran together for a while before bidding farewell around mile 6.
In the early miles, I just kept thinking about halfway. Tower Bridge and being able to start counting down the miles to the end! I knew Jo Pinches was at mile 11 with some of the family. I could hear her (and her cow bells) from mile 10!
Miles 13 – 18 passed in a blur of clapping, shouting and hi-fiving! I kept running but it got so tough in parts. One woman burst into tears beside me. Lots of MFRC friends gave me advice beforehand but Paul Mattock’s tip stuck with me the whole way – just keep visualising finishing. I did and it worked! I knew Stuart & his mum were in the grandstand and I kept imaging how I’d greet them when 26.2 finally arrived.
The noise started to get to me a bit at 22-23 miles. I just needed to get my head down and dig in for a bit so I moved to the middle of the road, away from the spectators. It wasn’t any quieter but it gave me a few minutes break from hearing my own name! I saw Stu Sahan and we agreed at this point you just have to get through it anyway you can.
Realising I’d arrived on the Embankment was the first time I felt close to the finish and the first time I really wanted to have a break & walk. I tell you, the spectators don’t want that! They just want you to keep going – I’m welling up remembering some of the wonderful things they were shouting. Not just ‘Go Jen’ but real words of encouragement.
Seeing Team Massey (Anne-Marie, Dave and The Bignalls) at mile 25 was one of my favourite moments. Jo & family were a few feet away followed by Rob & Michaela. It was a mini welcoming party for the last mile!
When I finally saw ‘385 metres to go’ I stopped for the briefest second as did a man beside me. We both wanted one last moment before turning the corner onto The Mall. It reminded me of that point when a plane is taxiing into position, there’s a moment of stillness and then it’s off like sonic down the runway!
Even though I knew I’d ran 26 miles, I was still gobsmacked to see the finish line! When I finally saw Stu & Julie, I threw my hands in the air, did a little jig and shouted to the grandstand ‘I’ve just ran the London Marathon’