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3 hours 15 mins at London for Craig

It’s Friday afternoon and I’m making my way into the London Excel to collect my number and weather it’s your first or fifth London this is always the point where the scale of the event you are about to be part of hits you, so much excitement in the air it literally gives you goosebumps. Saturday comes and it’s a day of rest with a stroll around the Olympic park making sure I eat well and stay hydrated. Sunday morning the alarm goes off at 6amstraight in the shower then get a light breakfast in with the usual black coffee. 7:30 me, Gemma, Aaron, Zoe, Glyn, Shawnie and John all get on the tube to Greenwich full of excitement nerves and hopes that we all have a great day. Me and Aaron say goodbye to all the others as they are on a different start then make our way into the red starting pen, we now have time to try and relax stay calm and soak up the excitement. Now I’m in my start zone and going through my warmup now I’m ready to roll, that famous music starts and that’s it I’m on my way just taking in what I’m a part off and controlling my pace for the first couple of miles. 10k in you hit the Cutty Sark and the noise from the crowd is just incredible people shouting cheering and stood seven or eight deep, I’m now into my target pace and feeling good staying relaxed and enjoying every minute. 13 miles in and I’m on Tower Bridge which is such a special part of the course not only because it’s one of the biggest landmarks but you are halfway, I’m still feeling good but now is where it starts getting hard so I make sure I monitor my pace and stick to the plan, at around 14 miles I was lucky enough to see Eliud Kipchoge (the winner and greatest marathon runner of all time) coming the other way and I’m just in awe of how fast and comfortable he looks, around a minute later Mo Farrah comes past and you can see he’s working hard but not giving in. I’m now into the Isle of dogs and getting into the toughest part of the race so I’m making sure I keep on top of hydration then set my self a target to hold my target pace until 20 miles then hold it a mile at a time for as long as possible. After spotting a few good friends in the crowd I’m back out onto the embankment and at mile 22, I’m starting to feel fatigue creeping in but still managed to hold my pace so I focus on staying relaxed and embrace the crowd. Mile 24 it’s hurting now but the atmosphere is just incredible, the support from the crowd is hard to take in to the point where I got a little emotional and started struggling to control my breathing but I composed my self and focused on getting to the finish. Mile 25 comes up on my watch and to my amazement I was under my target pace, before the race started I set my watch at my Marathon PB of 3:19 so it tells me how far in front or behind that pace I am but as yet I hadn’t looked at that screen, i now have 1.2 miles to go so I take a look and I’m 3 mins in front of my PB pace so I dig deep and give it everything, I then make the turn in front of Buckingham palace and see the finish line, I cross the line and it’s a mixture of emotions from pure elation to finish to exhaustion as your body starts to punish you, i then look at my watch and it’s 3:15:46 so a  three and a half min PB I’m so so happy. There are many things that need to go well during and building up to a marathon from staying healthy to the weather but most important is the great guidance in training pushing you when needed and knowing when to rest so thanks for everything Steve Clark. I knew he was happy with what I had done when I got the message to go have a beer.

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