On Sunday 23 April I was lucky enough to take part in the 2017 London Marathon, after months of training and charity fundraising, race weekend was finally here.
Ahead of race day, all Virgin Money London Marathon runners need to register at the Virgin Money London Marathon Expo to collect their running number, timing tag and kitbag. With my train booked for Saturday 22 April, I arrived mid-morning giving me plenty of time to make my way over from Euston railway station to the Excel where the Expo was being held.
Entry to the Expo is free, which meant I could bring my family along with me. All of the major athletic brands were present, as were a multitude of other exhibitors. I took the opportunity to get an official photograph as a memento of my day. I was also very lucky to bump into and have my photo taken with Paula Radcliffe as I was leaving the Expo, I later found out she was there to speak to all the attendees about her experiences of the London Marathon and it was the extra motivation I needed to spur me on.
It was the morning of race day before I knew it, I had booked my accommodation near to Greenwich Park, which meant I could walk to the start line in the morning, rather than relying on public transport. It was a surreal experience walking out of the hotel to see thousands of people in attendance, as I made my way along with everyone, apprehensive but excited to get started.
Having previously ran at other events, I was expecting a long wait to get started but when I passed the start line within ten minutes of the official start time I was really pleased to have got going so quickly.
The highlights of the route were Cutty Sark, Tower Bridge and of course The Mall. The support was beyond incredible the entire way round, but these iconic points will live with me now forever.
I am proud to have completed the course in 5 hours and 30 minutes. It was tough but I enjoyed every minute and with no target in mind I was over the moon to just have finished and claim my well-deserved medal.
My first marathon experience will stick with me forever and I appreciate all the support I have received, not only did you help me get to the finish line but you also helped me raise a great amount for my charity Shelter.