Well I did it! And to one of my pessimistic colleagues: “Did not finish” did not win the office sweepstake!

I took me a lot longer than I thought though. The first few miles were good albeit fairly slow due to the large number of runners and I narrowly avoided getting mowed down by a wheelchair user on the way to Cutty Sark (I can’t believe how fast they go on the slightest downhill incline). Then I settled into a good rhythm for a while. Under 5 hours looked likely at that point. Turning the corner and seeing Tower Bridge approach and crossing over was a great feeling but turning right and seeing loads of runners coming back the other way knowing they were about 9 miles ahead of us was a bit daunting!

And then about a mile and a half later, the dreaded cramp struck. It’s plagued me on my training but I really thought I would keep it at bay until about mile 20. I had a few tricky miles and there was a tense moment at mile 18 when I met my support team found that my carefully packaged bananas (the potassium is good for cramp apparently) had been squashed in the bag and thrown away! Disaster! Fortunately, there was a Tesco’s nearby so I stretched and waited while my other half went shopping. 18 to 20 miles were pretty good going through Canary Wharf. I weaved my way through loads of people walking, overtook a rhino and felt great. But the next two miles were a struggle. I walked a significant part of those miles but walking was more painful (albeit cramp free) than running and I did have my doubts a couple of times.

And then I worked out I could run for about 200 yards until the cramp started, walk for about 100 yards and then run again. Some of the other runners may have wondered who this bloke was who once every 300 yards shouted a four letter word and jumped in the air! It was a slightly different version of the running style of the morris dancer who overtook me after about 8 miles. Obviously he had a couple of hankies in his hands and wasn’t shouting expletives but you get the picture. This technique helped me shake off both St George and Snow White who I’d overtaken and been overtaken by about 20 times.

Mile 25 was the best. I knew I was going to do it and the crowds were amazing. Mile 26, the run / walk pattern got shorter as the cramp struck more frequently but by then the finish was in sight.

Phew! Never again though.

If anyone else harbours ambitions to do it then you should do. It was a day I will never forget. My only advice would be don’t leave it until you’re 50 though!

Thank you for all your support and thank you everyone who sponsored me or joined in the sweepstake. One of my ambitions achieved and lots of money raised for a very good cause.


Why I did it

In 2014, I felt I was surrounded by Cancer. One of my (younger) colleagues endured some pretty nasty treatment, but luckily is clear now. Another colleague lost their father. A good friend endured several months of treatment for prostate cancer. And we lost a colleague – a lovely lady called Sharon Randall. 6 weeks after her routine visit to the doctor’s for some test results, she sadly passed away.

Every one of us has been affected by cancer in one way or another. Whether that’s a collection of survival stories or people who sadly didn’t beat it. And that’s why I decided to support Cancer Research UK in running the London Marathon to mark turning 50. Not just because their work has saved thousands of lives, but also because there is still a huge way to go until cancer is finally beaten for good.


What can you do?

If you haven’t done so already, please head over to my Just Giving page and sponsor me for this event.