Ever since I started my running journey, I have dreamed of running the London Marathon. It is such an iconic event, the must-do once in a lifetime race for any keen amateur runner. I’ve often gone into London on race day over the years and been totally blown away by the incredible atmosphere and support from the crowds all along the route.
This year I had the fantastic opportunity to volunteer at the 2018 London Marathon, along with a team of around 25 others from my parkrun. It was a very early start, catching a coach at 5am from East London to make it down to Greenwich just in time for sunrise. It was already a beautiful morning, with the hot air balloons starting to rise all over Greenwich park, and the trickle of volunteers arriving to set thing up for the race. Our team was assigned the baggage drop truck in the championship area, which put us in a fantastic location right next to the main start line where we could see all the elite athletes warming up. I really enjoyed meeting all the athletes who visited our bag drop truck, wishing them all luck as they got ready to start what would turn out to be the hottest London Marathon on record.
A few minutes before the start we closed the bag drop, and made our way to the start line to watch the Queen press the start button, and cheer on the seemingly endless stream of nervous and excited runners.
As a reward for sending a team of volunteers, the London Marathon organisers gave us one free entry to the 2019 race. I put my name forward for the draw, never expecting that I would actually end up getting the place! So you can imagine my shock when I heard that my name had been pulled out of the hat one Saturday when the names were drawn at parkrun!
My emotions on finding out I had the place ranged from extreme excitement to terror! I thought ‘But I’ve never run further than 10k’, ‘I’m not even a proper runner’, ‘How can I fit all this training in???’ ‘I’ll never do it!!!’
With a little bit of time to digest and process the news, I now cannot wait to get stuck into my winter training! I’ts going to be a huge challenge but I am ready for anything that comes my way!
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