We spend the weekend familiarising ourselves with Narbonne before packing up and flying from Carcassonne to Liverpool arriving back into York late Tueday afternoon. Ironically my brother Paul is travelling to France on Wednesday afternoon so we meet up and have a meal with him and Shirley before heading off to our home for the week with Simon et al. Its great to see the family again and spend the next few days walking Finn the dog and me taking a few short runs.
Unbelievably I wake up on Friday morning with a sore throat and the sniffles which quite quickly develops into a proper cold – my first one in over two years – I am not a happy lady. Sunday morning arrives and whilst I am delighted the day of the marathon has eventually arrived I am feeling pretty rough and when Simon suggests I could defer running I burst into tears and sob ‘its not fair, its just not fair’ and have a rant a quick cuddle with Simon and eat my porridge – no point in dwelling on it I haven’t trained for 9 months not to run this marathon even if I have to crawl back.
The atmosphere is fantastic and the number of runners, spectactors, visitors, marshals, volunteers and families is unbelievable. Suddenly the gun goes off and a wave of runners make their way over the start line – the noise from the crowds cheering is amazing and I check my watch to make sure I am not getting carried away by setting off too fast
– I catch sight of the grandkids, Joanne and Charles on my way down the hill. We run through York where I see Daniel and Jonathan by the Minster and manage a quick kiss on their cheeks before continuing feeling amazingly elated. I can feel a couple of blisters developing on my right foot but decide to ignore them and hope they don’t get too painful – at least they stop me thinking about my sore throat. The boys bob up again about 10 miles further on in one of the little villages for another quick kiss and I cannot describe how much of a motivator seeing them helps me – its like a shot of adrenelin.
Charles is waiting for me in Stamford Bridge for a photo opportunity and lets me know Simon is ahead and going well. In fact as I am entering Dunnington, Simon is on his way out so we manage an encouraging thumbs up to each other. There are not so many people around by the mile 21 marker and it begins to become a bit of a slog and allows me to think too much about what I think I am actually doing – I am surprised how quickly the previous miles have gone but its not long before we can see York and the crowds builds up again and the shouts of encouragement is fantastic helping to forget about my aching muscles. Many runners have their name printed on their shirts and at one point in the race someone turns to me and asks if I am famous – Not that I know of says I and she asks why everyone is yelling ‘Sally’ so loudly. Probably because I look like I needed the boost.
The organisers of the race certainly have a sense of humour as the last half mile is up hill but I know all the family is up there somewhere and there is no way I am going to slow down – then I see all of the most important people in my life yelling and waving and I know I can do the last bit and finish in 4 hours 29 minutes – Whoop whoop I did it and in a better time than I expected – I think I lost that cold in mile one. I make my way back to the MacMillan tent who provide refreshments and a much needed seat until the family arrive and allow me to bore them with all the details.
A huge thank you to everyone who has supported me and helped to raise an amazing £600 pounds toward MacMillan Cancer Support .
I can now look forward to a half marathon next February as part of my training for the Paris marathon on the 3 April 2016 and then hopefully a place for the York marathon in October next year – I reckon I’ve caught the running bug……………….