Archive for April, 2010

Virgin London Marathon 2010: Race Day

So who am I to deprive the ‘fans’ of a little narcissistic rant about how my day went on the 26th?!

The Godfather and IThe Preparation
After all of that whining in the week leading up to the race, my cold was all but a sniffle by the time Sunday morning came around. To say that I was relaxed was an understatement. I’d been in bed by 9pm every night of that week, eaten pasta 4 nights in a row and hadn’t been on a run in 5 days.

On the morning of the race I stuffed myself with 3 slices of toast, 2 cereal bars, 2 bananas, 1 pack of jelly beans and 1 carbo gel. My old school teacher was running the race on the day; one of the final few who had been given a guaranteed ballot place after applying 5 times unsuccessfully (something that the London Marathon team are phasing out due to increased popularity in the race). His son, a good friend of mine, was on camera duty. He didn’t disappoint.

The Start
The rain came down half an hour before the start of the race, so all of the early birds who had handed their belongings in to the lorries were now all huddled, freezing under the trees of Greenwich Park. I squeezed down another gel and a packet of jelly beans and joined them. So much for the hot weather we’d been promised!

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[INSERT MOTIVATIONAL SPEECH HERE]

Blackheath before the startSo here we are again. Another four months of training done and this time tomorrow it’ll all be over.

I’ve just been for a walk around Blackheath and the atmosphere is absolutely electric. The blue, red and green starting pens are up, temporary fencing has been erected everywhere and there are lot of very nervous-looking faces carrying big red Virgin bags, walking with their eyes on stalks.

Tomorrow, 36,000 people will converge on my back garden, pee all over it and then run off! Over the course of the next few hours everyone of these people will then throw litter at least six times, most will urinate in public some more and some will even undress themselves in front of the Queen at Buckingham Palace!

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Major Packer Does It Again:

Cat and PhilI was lucky enough to briefly meet Major Phil Packer at the JustGiving Awards back in February. On the night Major Packer came away with the award for Most Successful Fundraiser. Why? Because in 2009 he walked the London Marathon over 14 days after being told that he was unlikely to ever walk again and in the process raised over £1.3 million for Help For Heroes.

Phil gave myself and some other marathon runners a really motivational speech before the event. I came away with a sincere admiration for this guy and I don’t think I’ve ever come across someone who has such a determination for charity.

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Another Cold:

Man sized...I swear my immune system is weaker than the Tories’ election campaign. For the second time during my marathon training I’ve picked up a cold. But this time it’s 3 days until the London Marathon!

Now I can sit around and sulk about the fact that I’ll be potentially be running the marathon ill, or I can focus on getting better. It’s not uncommon for runners who have been training for 4 months to pick up a cold in the weeks before a race. In fact, I found myself reading my own blog post from last year to remind me of the fact.

Endurance training causes a rise in the hormone cortisol which causes stress. This stress can affect the immune system, which can make you more susceptible to infection! So basically, because I’m eating better and exercising more, I’m more likely to get a cold than Fatty McFatterson of Cheeseburger Land!

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London Marathon Expo:

London Marathon ExpoSo what’s in the goodie bag?

What? Don’t kid yourself that you were reading this post for any information other than the amount of freebies you can get! We all know that attending the London Marathon Expo is all about picking up bags of free or bargain stuff.

I took the trip to pick up my marathon number early this year as my way of saying thanks to all of the volunteers who make the marathon go so smoothly. I live in London and the crowds usually get far busier on the Friday and Saturday as people have to travel at the end of the week and can’t get to the Expo any earlier. So on the first day possible I made my way down while the numbers were small. Merry Christmas Virgin!

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Lucozade Sport Competition Winners:

Lucozade SportThank you to everyone who entered the Lucozade Sport Marathon Pack competition last week by leaving a comment on the post with your predicted race time. There seem to be some very sporty runners amongst you, with the majority aiming to run it under 4 hours!

Congratulations to..

  1. Mark Entwisle from Bracknell
  2. Graham Cutter from Fareham
  3. Shafiq Khan from Lancashire
  4. Katy Greene from Pitstone
  5. Richard Taylor from East Lothian

Your Lucozade Sport Marathon packs are on their way to you and you should have them before the race this coming Sunday.

Good luck! SJAL

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Win a Lucozade Sport Marathon Pack!

Lucozade Sport Marathon Race packThanks to the marvellous people at Lucozade Sport, I’ve got 5 marathon race packs to give away and post to you before the London Marathon on the 25th April. The packs include:

  • Lucozade Sport Body Fuel in Raspberry
  • Lucozade Sport Body Fuel Caffeine Boost
  • Lucozade Sport Jelly Beans
  • Lucozade Sport Carbohydrate Energy Tablets
  • Lucozade Sport Orange Cereal Bar
  • Lucozade Sport Mixed Berry Cereal Bar
  • VLM Course Route Runners Guide
  • Liz & Martin Yelling’s VLM Tips

To enter, simply leave your name and your predicted race time in a comment below (just for interests sake)! I’ll announce the winners on Monday so we can get your packs out to you before the race on the following Sunday (race day).

Good luck! SJAL.

THIS COMPETITION IS NOW CLOSED

Your email address will in no way be distributed to third parties. Entry to UK residents only.

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