Sunday, 26 April 2015

Braving the London Marathon

As I jumped on the train this morning I was greeted by a man in a pink spandex squid costume, 
with a number emblazoned across his chest. In London, this sight usually means one thing - yes indeed, its London Marathon day again!

One year ago that was me (minus pink spandex outfit), clutching my kit bag and feeling a growing sense of panic that in a matter of hours I would be running 26.2miles, past some of the most iconic sights in the city. For someone who had struggled running even half a mile when I signed up to do the race, I had come a long way. The 6 months in between had involved more blisters, sickly sports drinks and laps around Victoria Park than I care to remember.

In honour of my marathon training days I decided to revisit part of my training route around the park (see pictures below).

So what was it like to run one of the world's most well-known races? For me, it was a rollercoaster of emotions. For the first 9 miles I felt on top of the world, we were running through Greenwich, the crowd was cheering, I was thinking -"Wow this is incredible! I’m Queen of the World!!

In true Titanic style I crashed bigtime! Yes, despite months of training and 20mile training runs,
at just mile 10 the heat hit me like a ton of bricks and my muscles started to seize up. I
desperately wanted to stop and walk, but I knew as soon as I did that it would all be over. One
thought kept me going "If you don't complete this race, then you will just need to do another
one.” Somehow that did the trick

Running across Tower Bridge at mile 13 was simply indescribable, a tunnel of noise and colour that gave me just the boost I needed.

By mile 20 I felt like I had been run over by a herd of elephants. Then I spotted my charity cheer 
squad and started screaming like a maniac. Suddenly I had another much-needed boost of 

My energy boost unfortunately didn’t last for long, and by mile 22 I was flagging again and so 
tired I was on the verge of tears. Then I bumped into my training buddy just at the point I needed
her most! We ran the next few miles together, side-by-side, cheering each other on.

By mile 25 the end was in sight and my family were there with a big 'Go Betsy Go’ sign leading to a mass of people chanting my name - amazing!

At last there was just 200metres to go. I decide to sprint it, determined not to finish behind the
man in the panda costume. I crossed the finish line arms in the air, deliriously happy that it was
over and I have survived.

One year on, have I suddenly discovered a newfound love of running? The answer would be a definitive no. I can count on one hand the number of runs I have done in the last 12months and yet my appetite for carbs remains as insatiable as ever.

But despite this I can’t stress enough what a fantastic, memorable part of my London experience the marathon has been. Nothing quite compares to the knowledge that I have been in the same race as Olympic athletes like Mo Farah and the feeling of running past iconic sights like Big Ben being cheered on by thousands of people

So congratulations to everyone who ran the marathon today – enjoy a well-earned rest. And for those of you who are reading this and have ‘run a marathon’ on your bucket list – DO IT - sign up to do the London Marathon in 2016 – you won’t regret it!



  1. I can't believe a year ago I was there to cheer you up with Chris ! Guess what ? NO I am not going to run the marathon tut! but Chris want to do the Marathon next year ! any tips?
    Great post as usual.

    1. That's so fantastic that Chris is planning to do the marathon. It's an incredible experience! Happy to pass on the wisdom of my experience although he has much more of a runner's build than me so I am sure he will do fabulously either way. Ps. Thanks for cheering me on. It really helped!

  2. Amazing post! Super inspirational, I need to get back into working out :)

    1. Thanks Zahra! I am so glad you liked it. If you are into running or like me just looking for an incredible challenge I recommend signing up for a marathon space. While admittedly it is not brilliant for weight loss as you eat so much during training, personally I've never felt stronger, healthier and happier rocking my natural curves

  3. Strange that you heard some people cheering but not others ;-) - but still amazing that you did it!

    1. Haha! I will never live that one down will I. To be fair they had to follow me for half a mile with a giant sign shouting my name to catch my attention :)


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